Heterotopias – a study of other spaces in 10th grade students’ film production

Submitted by: Helle Rørbech
Abstract: This paper explores data from an elective two-semester film course on a Danish continuation school for 10th grade students. The study followed students’ film production and participation in an annual film festival where film students from three continuation schools competed about a number of film prizes in documentary, animation and fiction. Place was the common theme of the festival in 2016, where observations were conducted.
The study is an ethnographic fieldwork and uses key methods in ethnographic research such as interviews, field observations, and collection of diverse artifacts and products. It is a qualitative single case study, that investigates students’ mutual meaning making with films in situ, that is in real time and space, and in its natural milieu and context (Flyvbjerg, 2006). Since the teaching of language and literature in L1 on Danish continuation schools is a quite underexposed research field, and as the learning design of the film course presumably is rare or unique it can be classified as an extreme case (Flyvbjerg 2006, 230, Ridder 2017, 287). The purpose of the case study was to explore students’ meaning making with film under the special conditions constituted by the continuation school context and a specific learning design, scenario-based learning (Bundsgaard, Misfeldt and Hetmar 2012). The two concepts will be explained in the paper presentation. Moreover, the case study was aiming at developing theory to understand the film production and its Bildung potentials under these conditions (Flyvbjerg 2006, Ridder 2017).
One of the research interests of the study was to understand, how students’ interpretations of the theme place, and their choice of locations and cultural spaces in their films are related to the development of their personal and cultural identities. In the paper Michel Foucault’s concept of other spaces ( heterotopias) (Foucault 1986) will be used to expound students’ fascination and aesthetic investigations of otherness as a focal point for their identity work, and as a catalyst of potential process of Bildung in their film production.
The empirical basis of the paper will be an analysis of the main locations in selected films along with excerpts from student group interviews.

Bundsgaard, Misfeldt og Hetmar (2012). Udvikling af literacy i scenariebaserede undervisningsforløb [The Development of Literacy in scenario-based courses], Viden om læsning, no 12, s.31-36.
Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five Misunderstandings about Case-Study Research in: Qualitative Inquiry, Vol. 12 (2) 219-245, Sage Publications DOI: 10.1177/1077800405284363
Foucault, M. (1986). Of Other Spaces. In Diacritics, vol.16, No 1, pp 22-27. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.
Ridder, H.-G. (2017). The theory contribution of case study research designs in: Business Research (2017) 10:281-305 Springer

keywords: film production, multimodality, scenario-based learning, other spaces, Bildung