Accepted paper:

21Up in Sewa, Normanby Island, Papua New Guinea (60 mins)


Patrick Glass

Paper short abstract:

Inspired by Michael Apted's enthralling 7Up series (1964-2013), while doing fieldwork in Sewa in 1993 I started a study of babies, 7, 14, and 21 year olds and their families. In 2014, I returned to follow up this study - twenty one years on.

Paper long abstract:

Roger Ebert described 7Up as 'an inspired, even noble, use of the medium of film' (1998). While the merits of 7Up films have been much discussed, their power as documentary film is beyond dispute (Dunier 2009, Apted 2009). Written descriptions - ethnography - are frozen in time, and raise endless questions about authority and representation. On the other hand, film has the distinct advantage of capturing the personal, ongoing, and reflexive in the most immediate and engaging way - vitally enabling the people to represent themselves. My film attempts to show this for the Sewa. And I think it raises some important questions for the practise of ethnography. Apted, Michael 2009. Michael Apted Responds. Ethnography 10 (3) 359-67. Dunier, Mitchell 2009. Michael Apted's Up! Series: Public sociology or folk psychology through film? Ethnography 10 (3) 341-45. Ebert, Roger 1998. The Up Documentaries. Roger Glass, Patrick 2015. Film: 21Up in Sewa. Toginutu, Winston Churchill 2015. Film: 21Up in Sewa.

panel P40
Film, audio and multimedia programme: symbiosis: sound, vision and the senses