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Radio Geographies and Documentary Film

I’m going on a course in a couple of weeks which, hopefully, is going to show me how to make documentary films using the BBC’s clips archive (although ongoing access to this isn’t going to be available until, well, who knows).

Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking about communicating research, and how my PhD might be communicated “otherwise”, particularly through film.  Consequently, I’ve been having very early trawl through some of the available videos in the BFI archive and other, linked repositories at the Imperial War Museum.

This post is mainly an excuse to link to this extraordinary film about the “brave new world” of military radio engineering in the 1970’s.  I don’t want to say too much about it, perhaps that’s for later, but it gives a wonderful illustration of the early development of human-technological-military assemblage. Just as in the basic tenets of professional soldiering, the recruit(s) are drilled to become a component in the wider body of the unit/platoon, and also the disciplinary assembling/disassembling of one’s rifle, here we see the training of specialists to connect and become part of the advanced radio/radar assemblages which were becoming vital to Britain’s military apparatus.  Even without the sinister feedback spiral at the end of the film and the bizarre ballroom jazz as the guns are inspected, this is a fascinating piece of military/social history.

WordPress’s seeming hatred for the embedding of video (or rather, my inability to get the html code from the Imp. War Museum to work) means that this link will have to do for now.

More, I hope, in due course…


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March 18, 2014 · 5:39 pm