Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

Working Papers Series: Theo Xenophontos | Zoom, Oct 25, 2022


Join us for another online iteration of the Archive/Counter-Archive Working Papers Series, which brings together PhD students from different Universities to hear about exciting doctoral research in the area of archival studies. Our next speaker is Theo Xenophontos, who is a PhD candidate in the Cinema and Media Studies program at York University. Theo’s talk will be followed by a Q&A with the audience, moderated by our student organizers, Emily Barton and Elina Lex.

Click here to register for this free online event on our Eventbrite page.

*The Zoom link will be emailed on October 24th to all those who have registered using the link above. Please note this talk will be recorded and have captioning.

Film as Mediator: Cultivating a Cypriot Canadian Community Audiovisual Media Archive

This presentation chronicles the development of my dissertation project, which is focused on creating a community-based archive that is devoted to the Cypriot Canadian diaspora. This project seeks to redress the historical imbalances perpetuated by traditional archival institutions by focusing on the lives of ‘ordinary’ Cypriot Canadians, a group whose history is either neglected or grouped with those of the Greek and Turkish diasporas. This archive will be audiovisual in nature as a means of emphasizing the importance of film as a mediator of memory and history. This research allows me to ask several intertwined questions, such as, how does audiovisual media influence how individuals understand and engage with the past, both in a personal and broader socio-historical sense? How does audiovisual media serve as a means for the average person to preserve their familial and communal histories? Is a community-based archive important to the Cypriot Canadian diaspora and why is such an archive necessary to counter the hegemony of traditional archival institutions? And most importantly, how does a community-based archive enhance our understanding of the Cypriot Canadian diaspora that is absent from the histories of this country? By utilizing audiovisual media created by this underrepresented community, I hope to re-conceptualize our understanding of Cypriot immigrants in this country, while concurrently demonstrating audiovisual media’s power as a form of historiography.

Theo Xenophontos is a PhD Candidate in the Cinema and Media Studies program at York University. He also holds a BA from the University of Toronto (with a double major in Cinema Studies and English, as well as a minor in History), in addition to a MA in Cinema & Media Studies from York University. While his current project is focused on creating a community-based audiovisual archive with members of the Cypriot Canadian diaspora, his other research interests include film history, media archaeology, and experimental film and video.