Invisibles e insumisas / Invisíveis e insubmissas: Line decoration Leading Women in Portuguese and Spanish Cinema and Television,1970-1980

The Project

Invisibles e insumisas / Invisíveis e insubmissas: Leading Women in Portuguese and Spanish Cinema and Television,1970-1980

University of Exeter, UK. University of Oxford. University of Kent.

Our project will produce the first ever ‘history from below’ account of women working in the Portuguese and Spanish industries in the 1970s, by focussing on ‘below-the-line’ roles, such as editing, costume design and production management, and paying attention to the ways these roles criss-crossed between film and television. We focus on the 1970s, when the ending of fascist dictatorship in both political contexts shaped Portugal and Spain in ways that are productively comparable but far from identical. Below-the-line jobs are usually seen as replaceable, and their contribution to a finished film or TV programme is of little note. While scholars have already paid attention to the very few women in above-the-line roles in the period, we will examine the women who have provided these alternative forms of low-visibility leadership in greater numbers. They have so far escaped the eye of scholars, because above-the-line roles, particularly in film, confer prestige, attract international recognition and promote agency. Our project will thus also add the critical transnational dimensions of Spanish and Portuguese history to current worldwide, predominantly Anglophone, debates on women in the film and television industries today.

University of Exeter
University of Oxford
University of Kent
UKRI