Our Archives and Special Collections Centre Manager Sarah Mahurter writes about her recent trip to Mexico City, where she joined other members of staff from UAL to deliver a symposium on the work and archive of Stanley Kubrick.

Eight members of UAL staff have recently returned from a highly successful trip to Mexico City. We were there at the invitation of the British Council, to deliver a symposium ‘Into the Archive: Reviewing Kubrick’ in association with the Stanley Kubrick travelling exhibition which is on display at Cineteca Nacional until 29th May 2017.

Professor Oriana Baddeley, Dean of Research UAL, Professor Paul Coldwell and Professor Jane Collins (CCW), Dr Pratap Rughani, Reader (LCC), Larra Anderson Dean of the LCC Screen School and I all delivered papers exploring the ways in which the Stanley Kubrick exhibition and the Kubrick Archive throw light on debates around the practices that underpin both film production and creative practice. This was delivered through presentations which introduced the Archive and how it is used by students and researchers.  We were joined by Abraham Thomas, Curator-in-Charge, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute and José Antonio Valdés Peña and Juan Arturo Brennan from the Cineteca Nacional.  Workshops developed themes of practice-related issues with practitioners and academics. These were attended by delegates from across Mexico, from as far away as the border with California. We even found out that one workshop delegate had sent Kubrick an audition tape for a part in ‘Full Metal Jacket’ in 1980.

The symposium was opened by the British Council Director for Mexico, Kevin McKenzie. Due to the popularity of film director Stanley Kubrick, the exhibition is attracting a large number of visitors approaching 100,000. The symposium and workshops were oversubscribed and sold out after one weekend of being advertised.

Professor Paul Coldwell and I also gave interviews to local and national Mexican television and press, and recorded a video with the British Council. The interview for Inter Media Mexico can be seen here: http://www.intermediamexico.net/clipping/2017/0217/090217intrandom13.mp4

Whilst in Mexico City, Dr Pratap Rughani, documentary film maker, met with Alberto Cortes who is a leading Mexican documentary-maker with a significant background working on indigenous culture; Eduardo Lierenas and Mary Farquahrson who are directors of CORASON music / audio production company and Indigenous Dancer / choreographer Georgina Martinez who has worked on inter-cultural indigenous dance projects between Canadian and Mexico.


One of the most heartening aspects of the visit, apart from the generosity and kindness of our hosts the British Council, was the presence of so many young film students at the symposium and workshops. This confirms the strong relevance of Stanley Kubrick and UAL to the international educational and political scene.

Sarah Mahurter, ASCC Manager

Image Credit: Pamela Zuniga