Volume 5 

Beyond Story

An exploration of what documentary is,
with an eye toward what it might become.

Published by UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, World Records brings together the voices of scholars, critics, makers, and curators who offer new and complex perspectives on documentary to challenge and extend its margins.

An expanding nonfiction media culture finds itself in a number of new spaces, from the proliferation of documentary in film festivals, galleries, and activism, to other forms of social, mobile, and emerging media, yet there is as of yet no critical journal dedicated to exploring the implications and the possibilities of this shifting terrain. The objective of the journal, mirroring the spirit of UnionDocs more broadly, is to frame the idea of documentary media as expansively and inclusively as possible.

World Records adopts an ecological view of non-fiction, one that investigates the conditional as well as the expressive forms of relation in the images that constitute our shared worlds. The journal approaches criticism not as the study of finished products, but as a rigorous space of engagement with a variety of image-based forms that are always contestable.

Published semi-annually, individual peer-reviewed volumes are organized around broad yet well-defined themes that engage the intellectual, technical, and formal strategies that are at the heart of an engaged contemporary nonfiction media practice, as well as the cultures that frame it.

World Records Vol. 5
Beyond Story Launch
with Alexandra Juhasz and Jason Fox
June 8, 2021 7:30pm (UTC-5)
Online & at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art

Editors Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow will walk us through the Volume. We’ll traverse a breadth of ideas from contributors like Sam Green and Brett Story dissecting what’s wrong with “story”, to Paige Sarlin, Jem Cohen and Sindhu Thirumalaisamy inquiring whether stories are found or imposed to Cecilia Aldarondo, Samara Chadwick, Luke Robinson and Joshua Glick uncovering the role of gatekeepers in encouraging these dominant modes of narrative.

Tune in to get a sense of what’s inside the volume and hear some of the ideas we brewed up at an UNDO Study Group that took place exploring the volume with this year’s Sheffield Doc Fest!

Pre-order Vol. 5 Beyond Story

Born out of their joint manifesto, initially published in 2018, writers Alexandra Juhasz and Alisa Lebow, extend their call to action to move “Beyond Story” in documentary with a special volume of World Records.

“Story itself has become part of the problem: there is an overemphasis on story—or at least the way stories have come to be told in the documentary films…by naming the problem, we are calling filmmakers, programmers, critics, and scholars into a conversation about why and how we must challenge this hegemonic norm that too clearly serves to perpetuate the market while actively changing very little.”  – Introduction, World Records Volume 5: Beyond Story

Editors / Alexandra Juhasz & Alisa Lebow

Product Details
122 Pages
Published May 2021

Special Feature

Four Propositions On True Crime and Abolition

Pooja Rangan & Brett Story

World Records Journal is grateful for support from