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Expeditionary Film, Geographical Science and Media Culture

RGS-IBG - Jan Faull (September 2013 start (part-time); Royal Holloway, University of London: PI Professor Felix Driver)

Picture Library » Image: Captain Noel cinematographing at Base Camp, Rongbuk Glacier, reference S0001268The project investigates the production, distribution and presentation of films made on successive Everest expeditions between 1922 and 1953.

Drawing on unique archival film collections held by the British Film Institute, the Everest expedition archives and related collections such as The Times archives, the research considers the logistical and technical requirements of expeditionary film, including the role of Sherpa porters in film-making; the role of media sponsorship in shaping the presentation of expedition work; and how film was shown, and to what audiences, within the context of popular and scientific understandings of mountaineering in the period. The research also considers the wider significance and potential uses of the Everest film archive. This involves consideration of the role of key organisations, including RGS-IBG and the BFI, in developing a community of interest around geographical film in the first half of the twentieth century.

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