Aladdin Verdenstheater 13 5 194147

Workshop - Cinema as space of encounters before, during and after WWII

This will be the first NOS-HS Workshop in the series ‘Cinema, War and Citizenship at the Periphery: cinemas and their audiences in the Nordic countries, 1935–1950’.

For many people in the 20th century, going to the movies was not just a leisure activity, but a necessity. As embodiment of democratic mass culture, movie theatres offered information and entertainment to everybody, regardless of age, gender, class, ethnic or religious background, even though the cinema-going practices were socially distinct and fragmented. People went to the movies for multiple reasons: to be entertained, to learn what was going on in the world and in the community, to find consolation, reassurance, or encouragement, to connect socially or find privacy in the dark, to be noticed or to disappear in the crowd.

The workshop “Cinema as space of encounters before, during and after WWII” is the first in the workshop series “Cinema, War and Citizenship at the Northern Periphery: Cinemas and their audiences in the Nordic countries, 1935–1950”. It asks how the Second World War altered the cinema-going experiences and the social functions of the movie theatre. The Nordic countries were affected very differently by the war. While Denmark and Norway were occupied by Nazi Germany, Iceland was first occupied by British and then by US forces. Finland fought alongside Nazi Germany and then against it, while Sweden remained officially neutral, but experienced a large influx of refugees from neighbouring countries. The movie theatre became a battleground between different factions of society. At the same time, the movie theatres became a space of cultural encounters with the enemy or the ally, both on screen and in the auditorium.

How did the war and occupation alter the cinema-going experiences and habits? How did it change the cinema landscape and social functions of cinema? Did the audience practices and cinemas revert to pre- war conditions, or did the end of the war mark a rupture with the past and a transition to something new? What role did cinema play in the construction of the Nordic post-war societies which had experienced the war very differently? These are some of the questions we seek to address in the first workshop.

The workshop is funded by the Nordic Research Councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS) exploratory workshop grant. Its goal is to establish a transdisciplinary network of scholars and non-academic experts (e.g., archivists, librarians, museum educators, etc.) to foster and strengthen research on cinema history in the North. Our aim is to publish a selection of papers in a themed issue of Journal of Scandinavian Cinema, Historical Journal of Radio, Film and Television or Kosmorama.

Workshop date: UTC+2 / Central European Summer Time: 29–30 September 2022


Kick off Wednesday, 28 September

Room: Skillingssalen

19:00 Informal social gathering with drinks and snacks at ARKIVET 20:00 Film exhibition: Münchhausen (D: von Báky, Germany 1943)

Day 1 Thursday, 29 September: Audiences, practices, and memories of cinemagoing

Room: Skillingssalen

08:45 Registration / Coffee and fruit

09:15-09:45 Introduction: Maria Fritsche & Thomas V.H. Hagen

09:45-10:45 Keynote 1 Daniela Treveri Gennari: ‘Developing a cinema typology: methodological challenges in comparative analysis of film exhibition’
Keynote will be streamed, see for the link.

15-minutes break

11:00-12:15 Session 1 (Moderator: Maria Fritsche)
11:00 Antonia Schlotter: ‘Rural cinema history in an exhibition’
11:20 Jasmin Gröninger: ‘Cinema memory: the relevance of cinemagoing in Gimbsheim’ Discussion

12:15- 13:15 Lunch

13:15-14:15 Keynote 2 Mona Pedersen: ‘Cinema-going and everyday life – how old people’s memories can contribute to a new cinema history’
Keynote will be streamed, see for the link.

15-minutes break

14:30-15:45 Session 2 (Moderator: Thomas V.H. Hagen)
14:30 Anthony Rescigno: ‘Transitions and ruptures: the consumption of German films in

Eastern France (1918–1950)’

14:50 Oddbjørn Hofseth: ‘The exhibition and reception of the WW2 feature film Englandsfarere in Ålesund in 1946’


15-minutes break

16:0017:00 Guided tour in the exhibits

Time to relax

19:30 Conference dinner (TBA)

Day 2 Friday, 30 September: Film exhibition and the place and space of cinema

Room: Skillingssalen

09:00 Coffee and fruit

09:15-10:30 Session 3 (Moderator: Lars-Martin Sørensen)

09:15 Åsa Jernudd: ‘In search of the audience: methodological reflections on historical research of cinema as space’

09:35 Jannie Dahl Astrup: ‘Vestjydsk Rejsebiograf in Western Jutlandia, 1896–1983’


15-minutes break

10:45 Keynote 3 Jessica Whitehead: ‘Photo-nite at the Movies: Propaganda and Contests in Canada during WWII’
Keynote will be streamed, see for the link.

11:45-12:45 Lunch

12:45-14:00 Session 4 (Moderator: Åsa Jernudd)
12:45 Noora Kallioniemi: ‘Film screenings at the frontline in Finland, 1939–1944’

13:05 Sigrún Margrét Guðmundsdóttir: ‘Real and imaginary spaces in Reykjavík: the invasion of Hollywood cinema during WWII’


15-minutes break

14:15-15:15 How to build a network on Nordic cinema history?

Time to relax

18:00 Dinner (TBA)

Parts of the event will be streamed through this link:


Tor. 29 sep. 2022
Klokken: 09:15


ARKIVET Peace and Human Rights Center, Vesterveien 4, Kristiansand