Paper short abstract:
Subject to Change: A Freirian Case-Study in Applied Visual Anthropology, directed by Shamia Sandles.
Paper long abstract:
It is a film that documents the history of a participatory action research project. In 2008, Tanzanian NGOs and visual anthropologists collaborated to produce an action research film, Maasai Migrants. Maasai Migrants' collaborative film script design was influenced by Freire's theory of conscienzation, while its screenings adopted the model of facilitated group discussions. Subject to Change documents the challenges and successes we encountered producing and screening Maasai Migrants. This film offers a behind-the-scene experience of collaboration, conscienzation and film screenings for those who wish to use visual anthropology as an applied tool. It illustrates some unexpected obstacles we experienced as participatory action researchers, including the reluctance of our Tanzanian collaborators to promote sexual education or how to formulate the role of a post-screening facilitator. We met difficulties justifying to our Maasai collaborators the use of documentary film vignettes as educative tools. We also found that the location of where we choose to screen the film had a huge impact on the quality of post-screening discussion. Subject to Change can be a useful tool to help students understand some of the challenges that are part of any participatory action research. In between vignettes documenting the different stages of researching, producing and screening Maasai Migrants, there is commentary discussing some theoretical implications of what was happening. As an educative tool, this film can be watched in its entirety without interruption, or separated by the different vignettes.
Can anthropology work for migrants? Anthropology (-ists) at work in charities and NGOs