Mediating Cultural Encounters through European Screens (MeCETES)

Project Participants

In modern societies, cultural encounters are largely mediated encounters. The MeCETES project is founded on the premise that our experience of other Europeans is heavily mediated through cinema and television. As Europeans from particular nations, our understanding of Europe and our sense of Europeanness is achieved partly through encountering representations of Europeans from other nations on screen. Since the Maastricht Treaty of 1992, the role of culture and the creative industries within Europe has gained in importance, and the EU has developed increasingly comprehensive cultural and media policies as part of the European project. Yet we still have only limited knowl- edge about which European films and television drama series travel well within Europe, how Europeans engage with screen fictions from or about other European nations, cultures and identities, and the role those fictions play in constructing a sense of Europeanness.

The MeCETES project will seek to fill this gap by producing an overview of European film and television production, distribution and dissemination, as well as case studies of selected films and television dramas emanating from, set in or about the United Kingdom, Denmark and Belgium, where the three research teams will be based. We will analyse how a range of screen fictions from different production contexts represent other Europeans. We will determine the extent to which those European screen fictions are produced and which travel most readily within Europe or between European nations. We will thus look at the policy framework and industrial context that enable those fictions to be made and to circulate. We will also examine their reception by looking at how audiences engage with those screen fictions, and the role they play in establishing a sense of European identity, cultural integration and diversity. The focus of study for the project is the period 2005 to 2015.

The project will be led by three senior academics: Andrew Higson (Project Leader, University of York, UK), Ib Bondebjerg (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Caroline Pauwels (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium). An Advisory Board involving academics from across Europe and partners from industry as well as from funding and policy bodies at both national and transnational levels, will help shape the research and the outcomes as we seek to influence debates about the media in Europe.

Associated Partners: 

AP-1: Mr Ross Biggam, Association of Commercial Television in Europe, BE
AP-2: Mr Henning Camre, European Think Tank for Film and Film Policy, DK
AP-3: Ms Sandra De Preter, VRT, BE AP-4: Mr Christian De Schutter, The Flanders Audio-Visual Fund (VAF), BE
AP-5: Ms Sally Joynson, Screen Yorkshire, UK
AP-6: Ms Nadia Kløvedal Reich, Danmarks Radio (DR), DK
AP-7: Dr André Lange, Observatoire Européen de l’Audiovisuel – European Audiovisual Observatory, FR
AP-8: Mr Roberto Olla, Council of Europe EURIMAGES, FR
AP-9: Ms Ulla Ostbjerg, TV2, DK AP-10: Ms Hanne Palmquist, Nordisk Film and TV
Fond,NO AP-11: Mr Richard Paterson, British Film Institute, UK AP-12: Mr Lene Petersen, Danish Film Institute, DK