Ethics, politics and representation in Child of Mine, a television documentary on lesbian parenting


Lizzie Thynne

Lizzie Thynne is Senior Lecturer in Media and Film at Sussex University, Brighton, UK, where she teaches video production and media studies. She convenes the MA in Digital Documentary and supervises practice-led PhDs.  Her work spans different forms of critical practice, written and visual. She has published on practice as research, women’s employment in television and queer representation.

She is currently working on a book about documentary ethics and the impact of new media and on a film project about film, narrative and memory focusing on her Finnish family’s experiences during and after the war. The film is a sequel to an earlier autobiographical video The House (1994) charting connections between past and present through a journey with her mother to look for her mother’s childhood home in Zelenegorsk (Terejoki) from which the family were permanently exiled when the Soviets attacked in 1939. 

She is a member of Feminist Review editorial collective. [http://www.feminist-review.com/] Feminist Review is one of the oldest feminist journals and retains a commitment to interdisciplinarity and uniting political theory and practice. Lizzie is editing a special issue on ‘Media Transformations’ (Issue 99, forthcoming Autumn 2011) in which theorizations of globalized media are interrogated through studies of actual media use in transnational contexts, such as by Iranian bloggers and Dutch Moroccan young women.

She is on the board of the Journal of Media Practice, which provides a forum for practitioners across the academy and beyond to discuss work and debates around practice-led research and critical practice. [http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal, id=132/]
She edited issue 11.3 on the theme of ‘Mediated Memories’ bringing together reflections on work in different media in which the past and its inhabitants figure in physical, tactile and other non-verbal forms.

She made films for Channel Four’s gay programming including After the Revolution (1994) and Child of Mine (1996), as well as work for galleries and commercial television.

Claude Cahun the enigmatic surrealist photographer (1894 – 1954) has been a passion for some years; Lizzie completed the film Playing a Part: the story of Claude Cahun in 2005 with the help of an AHRC Research Grant and Jersey Arts.[http://www.sussex.ac.uk/press_office/media/media447.shtml] Playing a Part has been shown at numerous festivals and events including at The National Film Theatre, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Jerusalem Film Festival, the Irish Film Centre, the Lieksa Museum, Finland, in competition at Festival International de Films de Femmes, Creteil and will accompany a major exhibition of Cahun’s work starting at the Jeu de Paume, Paris in May 2011. Lizzie has written several articles on Cahun and her lifelong lover and collaborator, Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe), exploring their play with gender and identity. The latest of these articles traces the connections between the artists’ inter-war involvement in debates about revolutionary art and their ingenious counter-propaganda campaign against the Nazis during the German Occupation of Jersey (1940 – 45)
‘Indirect Action: Politics and the Subversion of Identity in Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore’s Resistance to the Occupation of Jersey’ http://www.surrealismcentre.ac.uk/papersofsurrealism/journal8/index.htm

Her webpage is http://www.sussex.ac.uk/profiles/107668 .

All the above film titles by Thynne are available on request.
Contact details: l.thynne@sussex.ac.uk.