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UAL runner up in Doctoral category BAFTSS Awards 2023

two hands with blue nail varnish
  • Written byYana Kasa
  • Published date 26 May 2023
two hands with blue nail varnish
Alessandra Ferrini, Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film, three-channel video installation, 2022. Video still.

UAL PhD researcher, artist, and educator Allessandra Ferrini has been announced as a runner up for BAFTSS Awards 2023, under the ‘Doctoral Category’. Her essay film Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film explored the 2009 meeting between Silvio Berlusconi and Muammar Gaddafi in Rome.

The British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS) aims to promote the discipline. As well as represent the academics and professionals to the academy, government, funding agencies, the cultural industries, and the public. The practitioners are given an opportunity to attend and present at the annual BAFTSS conference. The Doctoral Category is part of the conference, this years’ theme being “Sustainable Futures: Ethics, Responsibility and Care in Film, Television, Screen Studies and Practices.”

Ferrini’s long form essay film presents three acts, including images and news produced in real time during the event and archive materials. At the centre of the work is a photograph of the meeting with Silvio Berlusconi at Ciampino airport and the protests sparked by Gaddafi’s choice to display an image on his chest. The images are accompanied by Ferrini’s voice as she reflects on the diplomatic and power relations at play, highlighting the relationship between the Treaty of Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation between Italy and Libya. The film enacts the public dissection of the event, focusing on the media representation, power structure and on their performative aspects. Ferrini also reflects on the colonial aspects and the abuses in history within the Euro-Mediterranean politics.

“This fascinating documentary/installation (constructed in 3x20min sections in order to reflexively interrogate the 3-act structure) explores Gaddafi’s 2009 visit to Italy to meet with Berlusconi. The film adopts the traditional expository documentary form (voice-of-god narration illustrated by indexical visuals) in a highly original way. It creatively utilises still and moving images combined with web-based sources that are literally dissected to explore the layers of complexity in this unique event, revealing complex themes around colonisation, migration, national identity and representation.”

— BAFTSS judges
"I am very delighted that Gaddafi in Rome: Notes for a Film has been chosen by the BAFTSS's jury for its contribution to practice-based research, especially for its use of montage and for the way it coveys the complexities of the event it analyses. I am very indebted to my supervisors for their support in this long PhD journey, they all have contributed generously and patiently to this work."

— Alessandra Ferrini