Professor Heath presents paper at ‘Heritage, Community, Archives: Methods, Case Studies, Collaboration’ conference at Sheffield Hallam University

Professor Virginia Heath presented a paper with film clips at the Heritage, Community, Archives: Methods, Case Studies, Collaboration conference (12th & 13th June 2023) at Sheffield Hallam University.

The paper, ‘Using Archive Fragments To Creatively Reimagine Gaps, Silences and Absences’, was part of the ‘Heritage, Archives and Creative Practice’ Panel on the 13th of June.

The presentation is part of Virginia’s ongoing research for her feature documentary project, ‘Mae West: Boxer In A Corset’ which looks at Mae West’s relationship as a playwright to Queer Culture in 1920s New York, before she became a film star.

Mae West Boxer Project Image – image provided by Professor Virginia Heath

It explores the process of working with key archive fragments to creatively reimagine Mae West’s bold, subversive portrayal of 1920s Drag Balls in her plays, and the conservative backlash which ensued. The intention is to turn an absence of moving image archive, into presence, to tell an untold story with powerful resonance for today’s ‘culture wars’.

CJ Banks Drag Queen Leith Theatre – image provided by Professor Virginia Heath

Please visit here for further information about Professor Heath’s work.

Virginia Heath is Professor of Film in the ADMRC at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a multi-award winning writer/director with New Zealand and UK nationality. She directs documentary and drama films including the acclaimed, BAFTA nominated, From Scotland With Love and Berlinale award winning Relativity.