Documentary Films: A Mediated Global Public Sphere
Professor Ib Bondebjerg recently published a new article called ‘Cosmopolitan Narratives. Documentary and the Global ‘Other’’ in Nordicom Review’s special issue on ‘Defending Democracy. Nordic and Global Diversities in Media and Journalism’.
The article is based on his keynote lecture at the Nordmedia Conference in Oslo, August 2013. It deals with how documentary film can influence our global imaginary through narratives on distant others, and how more collective documentary initiatives can create global dialogue using different platforms.
Bondebjerg states that since no society or culture exists in total isolation, we all depend on globalization. Societies need to find ways in which they can communicate and interact with others in order to be open, creative, and dynamic. Modern days’ technologies offer opportunities to connect societies in new ways, but making an actual change depends on how people use the technology. In the article he concludes that documentary films have a certain power to raise global issues and to establish a cosmopolitan dialogue between diverse parts of the world. He argues that documentary films represent a ‘mediated global public sphere’. In Bondebjerg’s view, film makers must on one hand work within their own distinctive context but on the other hand they must attempt to tell stories that link themselves with the lives of distant others.