Past events organised by the BAFTSS Colour and Film SIG.

Colour in Context Symposium. 11:00-18:00 Friday 23rd March 2018. University of Bristol.  Key note speaker: Professor Lynda Nead, Birkbeck. ‘Greyscale and Colour: the Hues of Nation and Empire c.1945-60.  Abstract

The symposium: Colour – its specific hues, meanings and perception – are a contentious issue in the study of film.  From the history of its technologies and the production of a ‘natural colour’ image to its association with all that is artificial and unreal, the interpretation of colour has been closely linked to its cultural, social and historical contexts. Colour in Context is a one-day interdisciplinary symposium and offers a space in which to discuss the diverse ways in which filmmakers and artists have used colour (and the strategy of its absence) as a technique of cinematic expression as well as those who have made a subversive use of colour that is intended to disrupt cinematic forms of representation in a range of cultural, social or historical contexts. Thus, this symposium aims to explore the specificities of colour and its contradictions in a range of cultural, social or historical contexts. CFP Colour in Context Symposium This call has closed.

Colour in Context Symposium Full Programme Abstracts and Delegate Biographies

The Colour in Context Symposium was organised in conjunction with a Screening and Workshop event: When the New Wave Came to Bristol: Remembering Some People (Clive Donner, 1962) at the Watershed, Bristol 24th March 2018.


The Colour in Context symposium was funded by the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies. The symposium was organized by the Special Interest Group on Colour and Film. Symposium convenors: Liz Watkins and Sarah Street. The Some People Workshop was been organised by the AHRC-funded project The Eastmancolor Revolution and British Cinema, 1955-85, which is based at the Universities of Bristol and East Anglia.

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added 7th December 2017

Journeys through Colour: experimentation, realism and artifice in non-fiction travel films. Seminar. 18:00-20:00 Tuesday 27th February 2018, Royal Anthropological Institute, London. This public event was sponsored by BAFTSS and the RAI, an independent charity organisation. It is not affiliated with current UCU actions.

Speakers: Professor Jeffrey Geiger (University of Essex), Jan Faull (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Liz Watkins (University of Leeds). Introduced and chaired by Dr Natasha Eaton (University College London).

Full abstracts, bio notes and photographs

A study of colour in film – its multifarious technologies and practices – offers a way to question teleological film histories that have written of a progression toward ‘colour realism’. This event explores the aesthetics, rhetoric and meaning of colour in travel films of the 1920s and 1930s. Colour is entwined with the practices of film making, representation and exhibition which associate spectacle and the fantastic as integral to the formation of images and narratives in non-fiction film. The presentations begin to unpick a complex of materials and techniques utilised to mediate views of the world to geographically diverse audiences. Colour signals a discourse of fiction and non-fiction, realism and expression, nature and artifice in travel and expedition films. The speakers discuss topics from the rhetoric of Kodachrome’s ‘living color’ in amateur travel films of the Pacific to the observation and interpretation of ‘natural colour’ in early 1900s expedition films to Everest and the Antarctic. How are landscapes and travel represented in film?



 updated 13th March 2018

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