Storying Sheffield

Sheffield Film Studies & Sheffield Studies Film

Sheffield Film Studies & Sheffield Studies Film: City, Image, Memory




Drawing on a range of interdisciplinary approaches to issues of space, landscape, and the city, Sheffield Film Studies and Sheffield Studies Film is a project which works with a group of Sheffield school children on filmic representations of their lived environment.


The project’s activities have included: working with documentary images of the city showing how aspects of the Sheffield landscape have survived, changed or disappeared; encouraging visual literacy in the interpretation of moving images, in connection with the city education department’s ESCAL (Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate) initiative; and exploring how different groups recognize; narrativize and lay claim to their city’s environments through drawings, photographs, storyboards and animated films.


In sessions conducted across two classes with Holt House Infant School, documentary and promotional films made in about Sheffield were used as stimuli to provoke consideration of the way in which the city is visualised cinematically. Participants were encouraged to respond creatively by generating images of areas specific to their own experience(s). Particular emphasis was placed on both the aesthetic formulation of landscape (encouraging participants to consider factors such as spatial composition) and the experiential understanding of space and place (participants were required to frame their visual narratives in terms of their engagement with the city). This project looks to extend the academic models associated traditionally with an understanding of landscape to external participants, and attempts to reach a more comprehensive appraisal of the role of cinema – and of the visual image more broadly – in shaping the visual imaginary of its audiences through their experience of space and place.



Click on the images to enlarge:



Our Sheffield made by Class 1 at Holt House Infant School:



The children watch their film at the Storying Sheffield Exhibition, 2011: