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Screening the population: Public information films in Scandinavian tuberculosis campaigns around 1950

Thomson, CC; (2019) Screening the population: Public information films in Scandinavian tuberculosis campaigns around 1950. Journal of Scandinavian Cinema , 9 (1) pp. 59-74. 10.1386/jsca.9.1.59_1. Green open access

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Abstract

The use of film in anti-tuberculosis campaigns dates back to at least the 1910s in Scandinavia and elsewhere. However, in the immediate wake of World War II, developments in mass public health screening necessitated a new wave of informational films that explained x-rays, Mantoux tests and Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination to the public. This article examines three such cases: firstly, Alle i fare! (All Endangered!) (Lauritz Falk, Norway, 1948); secondly, a suite of films made in 1948 by Danish filmmaker Hagen Hasselbach for UNICEF for educational and fundraising purposes; and thirdly, Medan det ännu är tid (‘While there’s still time’) (Martin Söderhjelm, Sweden, 1952). The films are contextualized within the broader history of anti-tuberculosis films and campaigns, as well as the circumstances of their commissioning and distribution. The article identifies a range of narrative and visual strategies that construct a new kind of national and global citizen whose body is made available and visible to public authorities for the collective good. In particular, it is argued that the (re)mediation of new mass screening technologies such as x-rays, skin tests and health data often make use of the properties of the projection screen, demonstrating the entanglement of medical and media technologies.

Type: Article
Title: Screening the population: Public information films in Scandinavian tuberculosis campaigns around 1950
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1386/jsca.9.1.59_1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1386/jsca.9.1.59_1
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Danish cinema, Informational cinema, Public health, Mass medical screening, Tuberculosis, X-rays
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10064692
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