EASA, 2010: EASA2010: Crisis and imagination

Maynooth, 24/08/2010 – 27/08/2010

(W104)

Visual representation of crisis through ethnographic film

Location Humanities Lecture Theatre
Date and Start Time 25 Aug, 2010 at 11:30

Convenors

Susanne Hammacher (Übersee-Museum Bremen) email
Rolf Husmann (University of Göttingen) email
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Long Abstract

Ethnographic filmmakers in general and Film Festival convenors collaborating under the Caffe (Coordination of Anthropological Film Festivals in Europe) umbrella in particular are invited to submit recent ethnographic films (with preference made 2007 or after) reflecting, representing or responding on crisis. The convenors hope to showcase a variety of formats and styles (drama-documentary, participatory, observational film, applied visual anthropology including new opportunities for digital media in research and representation) which represents 'imaginative' ways of reflections upon crises. Films will be peer-reviewed and curated into a film programme, running alongside the conference workshop strand, giving filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their productions in full length.

Session 1: film 1; Session 2: films 2 & 3; Session 3: films 4 & 5; Session 4: film 6; Session 5: films 7 & 8; Session 6: films 9 & 10, Session 7: film 11; Session 8: film 12.

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Lumina amintirii (In the Light of Memory)

Author: Alyssa Grossman (University of Gothenburg)  email
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Long Abstract

Lumina amintirii is a meditation on the presence of memory in contemporary post-socialist Bucharest. This experimental documentary was filmed in 2007, the year of Romania's accession into the EU, nearly two decades after the Revolution that ended over four decades of communist rule. Shot mainly in Cişmigiu Gardens, one of the oldest public parks in Bucharest, it interweaves recollections of the past with scenes from the present, forming a montage of stillness and motion, images and voices, landscapes and people. Tracing paths both through the city and the mind, it invites viewers to activate their own memories and imaginations along with those unfolding in the film.

40', Romania, 2010

Distributor: www.therai.org.uk

Uncanny Strangers

Author: David Picard (University of Lausanne)  email
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Long Abstract

Uncanny Strangers was filmed in a fishing village in the South-West of Madagascar. It is about the relationships, collaborations and conflicts between the villagers and various human and non-human 'strangers'. These include ancestor and tromba spirits, Western NGO workers, eco-tourists, fish collectors, cattle rustlers and the ethnographic filmmaker. Through a series of everyday life episodes, it provides insights into the ontology of these 'crises' (in a Van Gennepian sense) and the strategies employed by the villagers to make them work for their economic and political purposes. Through its specific ethnographic focus, the film addresses more generic issues of crisis related to the incertitude of contacts with strangers, competing ways of dealing with the environmental crisis and the challenges of newly emerging economic activities and forms of collaboration.

46', 2009

Distributor: www.therai.org.uk

Owners of the Water

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmakers: Laura R. Graham (US), David Hernández Palmar (Venezuela), Caimi Waiassé (Brazil)

A unique collaboration between two indigenous filmmakers and an anthropologist, Owners of the Water is a compelling documentary with groundbreaking ethnographic imagery. A central Brazilian Xavante, a Wayuu from Venezuela, and a US anthropologist explore an indigenous campaign to protect a river from devastating effects of uncontrolled Amazonian soy cultivation. The film highlights a civic protest showing strategic use of culture to bring attention to deforestation and excessive use of agro-toxins in unregulated soy cultivation. The film features a diversity of Xavante opinions and evidence that non-indigenous members of the local population both support and oppose indigenous demands. The film showcases indigenous efforts to build networks among different native peoples and across nations.

34', 2009

Distributor: www.der.org

Transfiction

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Author Johannes Sjöberg, Sweden and UK

Transfiction has been shot as part of a practice-based PhD in Drama and explores ‘ethnofiction’ – an experimental ethnographic film style in which the participants collaborate with the filmmaker to act out their own and others’ life experiences in improvisations. The film focuses on identity and discrimination in the daily lives of transgendered Brazilians living in São Paulo. Fabia Mirassos projects her life through the role of Meg, a transsexual hairdresser confronting intolerance and re-living memories of abuse. Savana ‘Bibi’ Mireilles playes Zilda who makes her living as one of the many transgendered sex workers in São Paulo, as she struggles to find her way out of prostitution.

57', 2007

Distributor: www.therai.org.uk

Roma Boys – The Love Story

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Rozalie Kohoutova, Czech Republic

The film explores the taboo subject of homosexuality within a Roma community through the personal story of a Roma activist who happens to be gay. Though his job has earned him respect among his peers, the coming out jeopardizes his status. However, the desire to share his complex story prompted him to write a screenplay based on his life. Partly a documentary about his autobiographical script, the film switches between documentary and narrative story-telling. Owing to its distinctive style, the film offers a glimpse into the protagonist's world as he faces triple discrimination: as a Roma, as a gay man, and as a gay man in the Roma community.

30', 2009

Promise and Unrest

Author: Alan Grossman (Dublin Institute of Technology)  email
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Long Abstract

Separated from her daughter Gracelle at 7 months, Noemi Barredo left the Philippines for work in Malaysia to support her parents and extended family before arriving in Ireland in 2000. Filmed over a five-year period Promise and Unrest is an intimate portrayal of a Filipino migrant woman performing care-giving and long-distance motherhood, while simultaneously assuming the responsibility of sole provider for her family back in the Philippines. Through the camera lens and mother-daughter voice-over narration, the film observes the material and emotional dimensions of global care work, the transnational contingencies of Noemi and Gracelle’s relationship situated in a wider familial context, together with their reunion in Ireland and the beginnings of a domestic life together in the same country for the first time.

95' , 2010

Take me to a place outside

Author: Martha-Cecilia Dietrich (University of Berne)  email
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Long Abstract

The film is the result of a collaborative media project with female offenders at HM Styal prison, UK. 8 women present and represent their imagined outside through visual and aural dimensions offering alternative ways for understanding their realities. Focussing on the imagination, shaped by the experienced presence and absence, this film is a sensory journey to worlds of desire, longing and relief.

6', 2009

Film: http://vimeo.com/7599012

The Meaning of Life

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Hugh Brody, Canada, UK

The Meaning of Life is a journey into the thoughts and voices of the inmates at a unique minimum security prison in British Columbia. A ten-year collaboration between the Chehalis First Nation and Correctional Services Canada, Kwikwexwelhp’s rehabilitation programs are based in Aboriginal spirituality and teachings and strive to introduce the notion of community to the inmates. Many of the men are serving life sentences, the majority of them are themselves First Nations. The film gives voice to those who are rarely heard – their experiences past and present, their hopes for the future.

82', 2008

Balkan Rhapsodies: 78 Measures of War

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Jeff Silva, USA

Balkan Rhapsodies is an episodic documentary poem that interweaves a mosaic of encounters, observations, and reflections from Silva's travels throughout war-torn Serbia and Kosovo between 1999-2005. By immersing himself intimately into the lives of people he meets, the film grapples with the inexplicable contradictions he encounters while digging deeper in search for comprehension. Using the 78 days of NATO bombings (March 24 – June 10, 1999) as a structural reference point, this documentary infuses the fragmentation, cultural incongruities and ultimate dissolution of the Former Yugoslavia into the fabric of its editing through a poetic assemblage of 78 episodic movements.

55', 2008

Distributor: www.der.org

Rapresent

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Ivana Todorovic, Serbia and Montenegro

This film is the portrait of Bojan, a young man with a passion for graffiti and hip-hop. Bojan was born in Split, Croatia. He lost his father during the civil war and escaped with his mother and sister to Serbia. When he was 11 his mother died and he was put in an orphanage. At the age of 18 he became homeless and lived on the streets of Belgrade. He shows the filmmaker around his contemporary living space and talks to her and the camera about his life in a remarkably intimate way.

(Bojan died aged 21 from an overdose, one year after this film was shot.)

31', 2008

The Bagyeli Pygmies at the Fringes of the World

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Francois-Philippe Gallois (France)

Modernization has reached the tropical forests of South Cameroon, where the Bagyeli pygmies struggle to maintain their traditions while adapting to new ways of life. With remarkable access, the filmmakers watch the Bagyeli people as they hunt, learn, sing, start businesses, manage conflicts with neighbouring tribes, and deal with the changes in their environment. This is an urgent and compelling documentary on a unique culture in crisis.

85', 2009

Today the Hawk Takes One Chick

Author: The Filmstream  email
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Long Abstract

Filmmaker: Jane Gillooly (US)

Amidst the highest prevalence of HIV in the world and the lowest life expectancy, three grandmothers in Swaziland cope in this critical moment in time. The generation between the grandmothers and their grandchildren has been severely effected by HIV. Today the Hawk Takes One Chick moves delicately between the lives of the grandmothers, whose experiences highlight a rural community at the threshold of simultaneous collapse and reinvention.

Through the poignant perspective of these women, the film creates a portrait of a community by layering discrete moments in time. The lives of the three grandmothers have been consumed by addressing the needs of their community while at the same time retaining the threads of the fraying traditional life.

As more and more insight into the women's lives is revealed, we are forced to ponder the question asked by granny Albertina: "What will happen when all the grannies are dead?"

72', 2008

Distributor: www.der.org

This workshop is closed to new paper proposals.