Anna Schober, The Cinema Makers. Public life and the exhibition of difference in south-eastern and central Europe since the 1960s, Exeter: Intellect books, 2013.



The Cinema Makers investigates how cinema spectators in south-eastern and central European cities became cinema makers through such practices as squatting in existing cinema spaces, organizing cinema ‘events’, writing about film and making films themselves. Drawing on a corpus of interviews with cinema activists in Germany, Austria and the former Yugoslavia, Anna Schober compares the activities and artistic productions they staged in cities such as Vienna, Cologne, Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Ljubljana, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Subotica, Zagreb and Sarajevo. The resulting study illuminates the differences and similarities in the development of political culture—and cinema’s role in that development—in European countries with pluralist-democratic, one-party socialist and post-socialist traditions.
Key features include:
· an account of cinema as a political and social transnational movement emerging with ‘1968’ that contests reigning forms of managing and controlling difference connected to the modern nation state
· an exploration of theories and conceptions of the public sphere and how they connect to cinema as an urban arena
· a close reading of films by authors produced by cinema activism of the 1960s, such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder or Dušan Makavejev
· follow-up cinema activist groups in the 1990s, such as clandestine flash mob cinemas, ethnic or queer cinema initiatives (in central Europe) or short-film cinema activism (in ex-Yugoslavia) confronting the violence of war and ethnic cleansing with an emphatic use of humour

This project received funding from the FWF. Austrian Science Fund.



Press commentary (Doris Grieser/ DER STANDARD/ 19.08.2009)


Project results published also as: :

  • City-Squats: The cinema-space as a cave for politics. In: International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, No. 3: 1 2007, 25–46 (intellect books).

  • Cinema as political movement in democratic and totalitarian societies since the 1960s. In: Angela Harutyunyan, Kathrin Horschelmann und Malcolm Miles (Hrsg.), Public Spheres After Socialism, Exeter: Intellect Books, 2009, 41-65.

  • Kino als Transnationale Bewegung. Zur Politisierung des Kinoraums in Frankreich, Deutschland, Österreich und Jugoslawien um 1968. In: Ingrid Böhler, Eva Pfanzelter, Thomas Spielbüchler and Rolf Steininger (eds.), 1968 – Vorgeschichten – Folgen. Bestandsaufnahmen der Österreichischen Zeitgeschichte. Siebenter Österreichischer Zeitgeschichtetag 2008, Innsbruck, Vienna, Munich, Bolzano: Studien Verlag, 2010, 176–186.