CROBORA is a project led by the Sic.Lab laboratory at EUR CREATES, University of Côte d’Azur, funded by ANR (ANR-20-CE38-0002) from 2021 to 2024. The project also benefited from the Incititative Scientific Credits of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis (2020) and was designed within the framework of the UDPN network.


CROBORA studies the circulation of archive images in the media space. Digitization facilitates the flow of content across countries, cultural and technical contexts. These mediations act as borders in the migratory movement of content: they allow circulation but impose reshapings. CROBORA will trace and analyze the re-use of audiovisual archives on television and on the web, focusing on content that speaks about European integration. The objective is to understand how circulation contributes to forging visual memories. Why do some images circulate more than others? Where do they come from? CROBORA will question the logics of authority and trust in the circulation of archives. The collection will be based on video detection tools on a transnational terrain in France and Italy. The analysis of redundances and the genealogy of images will be based on digital methods of visualization. A digital atlas of the symbolic images used to tell the story of the construction of the EU will enable the development of comparative analyses aimed at understanding how these audiovisual fragments are reshaped according to different contexts.


The main hypothesis of the project is that what determines the circulation of archives – thus constituting the visual memory of the European construction – is not a decision that lies solely in the hands of the authors of the reuses (journalists, audiovisual professionals) but rather the consequence of a series of mediations that can be technical (the availability of archives for example), interprofessional (the relationship between archival institutions and the media), cultural (the use of a document for a purpose in one country or another), historical (an archive sequence can change its meaning over time) etc. The actions of a multitude of actors determine the way a visual memory circulates in the media space: human and non-human actors (interfaces, authors, users), institutional or not (European institutions, archives; media) and belonging to different European countries. In order to deepen this hypothesis it is therefore necessary to carry out an empirical recognition of the re-uses of audiovisual archive fragments and to understand their paths. This means identifying which archives are used and understanding how a visual memory emerges and is reshaped according to times, countries and contexts. Thinking of mediations as borders that consent or not the passage by giving rise to adjustments will allow us to isolate the instances that determine the circulation of archives. The general objective of the project is therefore to understand the logics governing the circulation of audiovisual archives. The project aims to respond to the following sub-objectives: 1. to understand which audiovisual fragments are reused in the media to talk about Europe; 2. to build a cartography of frequently used symbolic images; 3. to analyze the representations carried by these images; 4. to understand their trajectory in order to see how they are reshaped diachronically and according to different media, countries and institutions; and finally 5. to identify which mediations determine their readjustments.

« The past is a foreign country. They do things differently there. »

L.P. Hartley