Conventionally beautiful: Contemplative images in the personal reflective narratives of Who Do You Think You Are?, The Monastery and The Convent

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    Abstract

    This article examines the hybrid documentary series Who Do You Think You Are?, The Monastery and The Convent in relation to their ability to update the documentary format. It asks if new forms of engagement with documentary subjects are enabled by the impact of light entertainment and reality television genres. It argues that although the generic mix contributes to the situation of truth in the tension between the public and the private, it is a set of static images, used particularly often in reflective moments, that facilitate a more introspective and intrinsic form of learning. These images resemble closely those used in popular anthologies of poetry or meditation books, in that they foreground their poetic function and hence appear to offer something to look at rather than primarily conveying additional meaning.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-211
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
    Volume14
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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