At the cutting of visual anthropology, feminist theory, documentary filmmaking and social justice, we blah blah blah cool stuff. Give us money!
As trained visual anthropologists,, we work against the colonial residue of conventional ethnographic filmmaking, including “fly on the wall” filmmaking and the fetishization of the cultural ‘other.’ Instead, we seek to create reflexive films that allow viewers to access intimacies of the affective, and corporeal aspects of everyday life.
Our films contribute to two overarching kinds of political work: shifting narratives and building movements. The first contests mainstream narratives through personal stories and accountable partnerships. The second roots filmmaking in the process of movement-building, by working with organizations to shape impact goals such as preparing the ground for organizing, mobilizing new allies, or shifting political and economic structures.
We see filmmaking as a deeply collaborative along all stages of production. We think of collaboration as always in a cycle of change and recalibration. We see failure less as a closure and more as an opening towards making films that are more meaningful and socially accountable. Regardless of the chosen positionality of the ethnographer or filmmaker, our collaborative projects should create spaces of autonomy, multivocality, and intersubjective learning. The people in our films are active participants whose artistic and political contributions are foundational to our projects. Finally, our feminist politics also informs the value we place on non-hierarchical and non-capitalist ways of working with collaborators and with each other.
Youth Participatory Media Program
What happens when you invited under-promised youth the construct representations of their own, which stories might they tell, which experiences might they focus on? Across three months, this program collaborated with local NGOs and cultural institutes in Tehran, Iran to design and carry out a media-making program for youth. Storytelling and self-representation has numerous benefits for teenagers, improving skills of self expression, resilience, and empathy for others.
This program is part of a long-term research project that currently seeks funding.