The series of practical-theoretical seminars DokUrban are supposed to create a multi-dimensional and dynamic classroom setting where B.A. and M.A. students can actively learn theoretic, aesthetic and technical know-how and enter into research at the same time. By combining exercises with practical skills in filmmaking and asking students to select their research topics, it will be possible for the students to approach themes following the current turn within film studies towards the phenomenology of film production. The series of seminars will focus on the research of the performative and relational aspects of documentary film production and performance techniques for non-professional actors (methods of co-production).
The seminars are structured to interlink practical teaching in performance and filmmaking with theoretical discussions in two central arenas of the field. Firstly, speculative fiction in hybrid documentaries, a method using narrative devices from Italian neo-realism to produce audiovisual narratives that empower marginalized communities, such as migrants, refugees and dispossessed minorities. Secondly, performance in conflict mediation and resolution, where theatrical and performance techniques as social theater, theater for development and (p)reenactment are used to base film productions where antagonistic groups are brought together to explore and develop future political scenarios.
In these experimental performances, they have a chance to bring resolution to their conflicts and develop strategies for a peaceful and mutually enriching relationship. Therefore, by integrating research into the classroom experience for students in a novel and meaningful format, the TFM institute at the Goethe-Universität and unit Culture & Media, Department of Social Work at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (FUAS) can provide undergraduates with a high-level immersion in research activities which approaches crucial topics of the field in a unique practice and theoretical way, thus benefiting both students and faculty.