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Arts, Culture and Media

Arts in Society

Foto: Jeroen Dekker
Foto: Jeroen Dekker

In recent decades, the arts have undergone radical transformations and rapidly adapted to late-capitalist phenomena such as globalisation, digitisation and the democratisation of creative channels. Due to the increasing influence of culture and the creative industry within the world's expanding urban metropolises, notions of artistic autonomy, forcefully promoted in the 19th century, have re-emerged in philosophical and ideological discourse.

In light of this, the position of the arts in society demands new form of conceptualisation, definition and legitimatisation.

The Research Centre Arts in Society examines these transformations as well as the emerging values surrounding the arts and their role in society. The Research Centre is divided into five  knowledge domains

For more information visit our Research Centre Arts in Society page

  • Testimonial van

    Unifocus 6: Film Studies

  • Opleidingsvideo

    Introduction to Film Studies

    – Opleidingsvideo
  • Testimonial van Ari Purnama

    PhD student in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media

    Studying film at the University of Groningen has widened my perspective about why, how, and for what purposes we examine this cultural product. Why do we need to study film? Despite the popularity of other moving image media today's television, YouTube, etc. ¾film continues to awe, entertain, and move us.

    Moreover, despite the differences between film and these other media, the production of television or YouTube content still primarily relies on techniques and conventions developed in film, for instance editing and cinematography. This curious aspect has led me to conclude that film is a stubbornly persistent medium. Film has been pronounced (almost) 'dead' several times from the threat posed by television in the 1950s to the recent digital changeover that rendered celluloid obsolete. But yet, filmmaking and film culture are still alive and kicking! This is a fascinating fact that prompted me to study film in the first place. So, how can we study film? Before I took film specialization courses at the UG, I thought there was only one feasible way to study film: to interpret its 'content' through the lens of cultural theories.

    Through the programme I was exposed to a myriad of approaches. But one in particular has been really helpful to my understanding of film. I have learned from the programme that before we are able to decode what meanings a particular film suggests we need to understand how that film works narratively and stylistically. This approach to film study encourages us to look at film as an art form first and foremost. That is to say, it is an artwork designed and constructed by a number of individuals (in most cases) in a collaborative setting with the film director taking the lead. The film director and his/her collaborators make creative choices that result in the way the film tells its story and the filmic techniques chosen to facilitate it. So, with this film-as-art perspective in mind, I have been able to 'reverse engineer' whichever film I am analysing in order to grasp what the film suggests and what experiences it offers. More importantly, through this critical lens I became interested in studying the creativity of filmmakers in shaping their films' look, and the role of constraints in that creative processes.

    OK, all of this sounds great, but what can I do with it? Having studied film this way, I can use the knowledge and skills honed during my master's education for my current research as well as for my practical filmmaking venture. I learned how to analyse films through the programme, and now I am using this analytical skill in my PhD research on contemporary Indonesian films. By learning how to analyse films, I have become more sensitive to techniques and conventions of film. Furthermore, I have become more responsive to the ways in which filmmakers sustain, modify or reject the conventions. In turn, this has helped me to structure my own film with a 'design conscious' outlook. For instance, in the screenwriting, pre-production, production and post-production phases I think about how to make my film coherent but not predictable in its attempt to elicit viewers' responses. In this way, the practice-theory synergy can be strengthened. All in all, the film programme at the RUG has opened my eyes theoretically as well as practically.

    – Ari Purnama
  • Testimonial van Alumnus Jelle Burgers

    Metadata Coordinator at Paramount Pictures

    If you're looking to study Film from a multidisciplinary perspective aided by expert teachers challenging you to develop your own ideas, I can highly recommend the Film and Media Studies specialization in Groningen. I highly valued the interaction between students and staff. In my experience, the staff was most approachable and helped me to develop my own ideas, elevating them to a level I had previously not thought possible.

    As with any Art degree, finding a job in your field of expertise is very challenging. Luckily, the Film and Media Studies specialization in Groningen encourages students to pursue an internship. I would highly recommend future students to complete an internship as it will complement your theoretical knowledge with some indispensable practical skills you will need when you start your job hunt. And of course, getting your foot in the door is half the battle!

    – Alumnus Jelle Burgers
  • Testimonial van Alumnus Ruben Meintema

    Software developer / innovator at the marketing firm Concepts2Go

    Currently I am working as a software developer / innovator at the marketing firm Concepts2Go in Nieuwegein. At first sight this is pretty unrelated to Film and Media Studies, but it totally helped me with creative thinking. At the University of Groningen, I've had the chance to investigate the widest possible range of topics, from aesthetic philosophy to video games. If you can see the relationships and possible combinations within all this diversity: that's innovation.

    – Alumnus Ruben Meintema
  • Testimonial van Master's Student Lianne Veenstra

    This track is unique in the Netherlands

    Why Arts, Culture and Media ?

    Since I have always been interested in film, arts in general, culture, and history, the choice to study film at the Arts, Culture and Media department at the University of Groningen was an easy one to make. This track is unique in The Netherlands because it provides a multi- and interdisciplinary perspective on the study of arts and its contexts. The Film and Media Studies specialization within the Arts, Culture and Media track offers the opportunity to broaden and deepen your knowledge of film acquired during the Bachelor, and to study it within a specific professional framework – either Arts Analysis and Criticism, Arts Policy and Marketing, or Arts Education.

    A chance to go abroad

    If you didn’t go on an exchange in the third year of your Bachelor, then you will get another chance to do so in your Master. In the second semester of my Master, I went on an Erasmus exchange with Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne for six months. I can highly recommend taking part in an exchange programme because it is an extremely valuable experience and gives you the possibility to study your art form or discipline in another country.

    – Master's Student Lianne Veenstra
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