Switch # 238


15:15, Friday 14th June, Museum Auditorium

rai 238 switch

  • Director/Anthropologist: Cathy Greenhalgh
  • Year of Release: 2013
  • Duration: 20 mins
  • Country of Production: UK
  • Location: Blackpool, UK


The north-west seaside town of Blackpool was first in the world to display electric light, stunning holidaying Lancashire millworkers with “artificial sunshine”. In 1912 the famous annual Blackpool Illuminations began. One hundred years on, six miles of lights and 10,000 lamps compete with a drama of western sunsets and stormy seas. SWITCH takes nostalgic narratives of the play between natural and artificial light as its subject. Using stop frame animation, stills and live action, interviews and manipulated sound to enhance temporal and spatial effects; the film encapsulates memories using an embodied ethnography and sensory cinematographic qualities of light.

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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from:

UDDA NMS SSGS ED Unversity of Aberdeen StAndrews WILEY