The movie is not the map is not the movie

10 Jul

Join us for an event exploring the relationship between cartography and cinematography.

Movie is not the map - Poster-page-001

In this programme, a collaboration between Passengerfilms and Livingmaps Network, we are setting out to explore the limits and conditions of the critical space between film and cartography with a panel who are as enthusiastic about movies as they are about maps.


Screening the acclaimed and inspirational film Lion (2016), based on the autobiographical story by Saroo Brierley of his journey of remembering and self-discovery. The evening will open with a panel discussion exploring illustrative intersections between story, place, journey, map and movie, and a short panel discussion engaging with Tom Conley’s arguments on ‘Cartographic Cinema’.

In his recent book, Tom Conley claims that the language of cinema and map converge in creating a mimetic effect, conjuring up an imaginary correspondence between reality and its graphic representation through similar devices. At the same time he argues that while ‘a map underlines what a film is, it also opens up a rift or brings into view a site where a critical and interpretive relation with the film can begin’.
We take this as a starting point to explore whether ‘the map is not the movie and the movie is not the map’.

Tickets available here


Phil Cohen is research director of LivingMaps, and many years ago wrote film criticism for Cambridge Review and initiated the Cambridge Documentary Film Festival. He will be leading the #LDNSHOKCTY salon event at the Museum of London later this year which will use interactive workshop situations and time-based media to create a ‘popup museum of the future’ which interrogates the pasts of London’s future and the future of Londons past.

Rebecca Ross is Senior Lecturer at Central St Martins. Her work explores the relationship between communities, machines, visual media and urban/spatial practices. She has researched the history of London postcodes and in ‘London is Changing’ created giant digital billboards as a platform for capturing Londoners’ experience of the city.

Katherine Stansfeld is a postgraduate researcher whose work focuses on mapping vernacular geographies in places of super-diversity. Katherine is based at Royal Holloway, University of London and is project manager of PASSENGERFILMS… ‘The car-crash of cinema and geography’.

John Wallett is design director of Livingmaps and a founder member of the East Anglian popup cinema project ‘Moving Image’. He is currently working with the Science Museum Group and Aura Films on a film / ethnography project about exploring deep archives, and will be part of the Livingmaps team delivering the #LDNSHOKCTY salon event at the Museum of London later this year.

This event is jointly curated by PASSENGERFILMS and Livingmaps Network and is hosted by the Development Planning Unit at UCL

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