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Declan Keeney

Mr Declan Keeney

Lecturer (Education)

Phone: +44 (0)28 9097 1403

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Declan is an award winning filmmaker and academic. He is Course Convenor for the Film Studies degree based in the School of Creative Arts, Queen's University Belfast. A lecturer in Film Practice, Declan's teaching specialisms include postproduction for film and television and cinematography. Declan has over 20 years of broadcast experience documenting key historical moments in our recent past. During 12 years at BBC Northern Ireland, he filmed many major events such as the Good Friday Agreement, The Holy Cross Primary School Dispute and the Drumcree Protests. Declan has worked extensively as a documentary filmmaker. His most recent documentaries "We Carried Your Secrets', 'We Are Not Afraid' and 'Release', have been screened nationally and internationally in over 17 countries to critical acclaim. His research interests primarily explore documentary film practice in a post-conflict society, the issue of 'emotion' and its affect on the creation of personal and public memory of conflict and the usefulness of storytelling by victims and survivors as a contrbution to the archive.

Research Statement

In the context of a post-conflict society and with particular reference to Northern Ireland my work explores through practice lead research, the  issue of 'emotion' in testimony based documentary films with victims and survivors of the Troubles. Emotion is an important factor on a number of distinct levels. The use of artifice and the cinematic by the filmmaker can elicit an emotional reaction in the audience which can be both useful and unhelpful depending on context. Secondly retraumatization is always a risk when sharing painful or traumatic memories of conflict, sharing these moments on film can be difficult for both contributor and spectator. A network of support is required. The filmmaker is also at risk of  accusations of exploitation and voyeurism if the stories are not handled with integrity. It is important also to try to understand the role 'emotion' plays in the formation of both personal and public memories in the context of the archive. This work though rooted in Northern Ireland draws international interest and has particular significance in the context of a post-conflict society.

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