The Enlightened City

Film exhibition and film consumption in Flanders (1895-2010)


The Enlightened City research project focused upon the history of cinema cultures in the northern part of Belgium, Flanders, and in the capital of Brussels (1896-2010). Inspired by theories on the interrelationship between cinema, cities and modernity, The Enlightened City project delved into places, film programmes and cinemagoing experiences by applying a triangulation of methods and approaches (archival work, systematic databases and mapping of film exhibition places; programming analysis; and oral history). The project also produced in-depth case studies on historical cinema culture in particular cities (e.g. Antwerp, Ghent, Mechelen), areas (rural cinemagoing), and the interrelationship between ideology, religion and cinema (e.g. Catholics and cinema).



The Enlightened City (official title: Screen culture between ideology, economics and experience: A study on the social role of film exhibition and film consumption in Flanders (1895-2004) in interaction with modernity and urbanization), was funded by FWO-Vlaanderen (Flemish research fund), 2005-2008.