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Feeling the past: Television archive material as an affective element in the series Uutishuone

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Many contemporary television programmes use television archive material in remembering the recent past. While research on memory cultures on television has developed over the past decade, there is very little research on the use of archive material in fiction. This article analyses how archive material functions as an affective element in the Finnish drama series Uutishuone (Newsroom) (2009). The article argues that television archive material in fiction is not just documentary evidence of the past, but can also work as an affective element. Uutishuone uses archive material as an affective element in three ways. First, scenes where characters witness legendary television moments appeal with a sense of experiencing history as it happens. Second, archive material functions as a melodramatic element that expresses the feelings of fictional characters. Third, in some scenes the affective charge of archive material derives from the sense that viewers know more about future developments than the fictional characters. The affective use of archive material enables Uutishuone to articulate ambivalent experiences of gender and socialism in the recent Finnish past.
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Keywords: Finnish television; historical fiction; melodrama; memory; television archives; television series

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Turku

Publication date: October 1, 2017

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