Deterritorialization of power: filmic representations as a critique of representation
(Leuphana Universität Lüneburg/ Università degli Studi di Macerata)
Paper short abstract:
How do postcolonial, diasporic filmmakers use their filmic representations and the possibilities of montage to reflect on the perception and projection of contemporary global cultures? The paper emphasises the notion of culture and the spatial dimension of anthropology.
Paper long abstract:
The focus of this paper will be on the notion of culture and the spatial dimension of anthropology which have been subject to critical debate. Colonial ethnographic film was employed to create representations of the 'Other' as an expression of colonial dominance. Since the formal end of European colonial hegemony, anthropology sees itself confronted with a number of unresolved problems concerning not only conventional ethnographic methods, but also global systems of domination. Transnationalism and global migration challenge the construction of fixed cultural, racial and spatial differences and thus undermine simple binary oppositions. How do postcolonial, diasporic filmmakers use their filmic representations and montage as one filmic form of manipulation to reflect on the perception and projection of contemporary global cultures? Giving up naïve ideas of inversion and going beyond the idea of simply turning the gaze or the camera - how can the concept of 'Reverse Anthropology' undercut the discourses about the powerful and the disempowered? Manthia Diawara's film Rouch in Reverse (1995) can be understood as an attempt to create 'coevalness' and spatial interconnection by using montage. With his 'Reverse Anthropology', Diawara wants to challenge the images "straight out of the textbooks of my francophone upbringing in Africa" and the pregiven cultural and territorial entities. This paper emphasises aspects of migration, transnationalism and hybridity, and their complex consequences for the construction of identity, power and processes of deterritorialization and reterritorialization in ethnographic film.
Transcultural montage: the uses of filmic montage in conveying diversity and mutuality