Audiovisual programme (AV01)
Convenor: Joan Roura (Incipit-CSIC)
"450 Kilos of Dreams" ethnographic film
"450 Kilos of Dreams" introduces into social world within historic Horse Racetrack Służewiec in Warsaw. Beyond hippodrome, stables for 600 horses and estate for its workers are now endangered by urban development. Regardless of this life is determined here by the annual rhythm of horses training.
"450 kilos of Dreams" was shot over one year within horse racing community in Warsaw. This document is a part of wider ethnographic research "The Służewiec Horse Racetrack in Warsaw. A Study of Social Functions and Meanings of a Cultural Area in the Face of Changes". The goal of the film is to shed light on various aspects of everyday life within historic social enclave in Warsaw hidden from Varsovians sight by six kilometres long concrete wall since interwar times.
Horse races were never popular in Poland - the Society of horse breeders erected hippodrome possessing at the backstage spacious training city to concentrate in one place all racing horses and stable staff. In the times of the Polish People's Republic it functioned as a state-owned company - urban National Farm which additionally organized races and tote. Since the transformation 89', the horse racing is in a permanent organizational and financial crisis in Poland. The "racing town" surrounded by the is engendered by vivid urban development within capital. Regardless of this, the rhythm of everyday and annual life is determined here by the training of horses. At the micro level the document allows to enter social world in two stables: everyday work, emotions and relationships (also interspecies), within two racing stables. The selection of scenes was to convey emic perspective, specific for various social actors - from grooms to horse owners. At the macro level film depicts the social history of Racetrack Służewiec by accompanying ethnographic commentary.
"Prithvi Highway, 96,2 km" (short film, 15:30)
A day in the life of a Gurung family living by the Prithvi Highway, Nepal. The roadside is increasingly populated and the natural living environment interrupted by heavy vehicle flow. It is life at the intersection of tradition and transition.
A day in the life of a Gurung family living by the Prithvi Highway.
The highway connects Kathmandu area with Pokhara, a tourist city in the Western part of Nepal. The road runs along Trishuli River and offers majestic views of middle-hill Nepal. At the same time, the roadside is increasingly populated and the natural living environment interrupted by heavy vehicle flow. Traditionally, small roadside home restaurants or khaja ghars (food-houses) have offered passers-by delicious Nepali staple dal bhat (rice and lentils), and Nirmala's used to be a famous one back in the day.
However, times have changed and there is an abundance of restaurants, shops and kiosks by the road. Nowadays, it is more profitable to make local millet beer chhyang and strong rice wine raksi that can be sold to local people. Two sisters take care of the household, the little shop, and make millet beer while their mother and father look after the goats and guide the girls. While everyday work goes on around the house, extended family and neighbors come by for a chat, to watch TV, or to have a drink. Life goes on at the intersection of tradition and transition.
Albariño Rias Baixas: de la tradición al mundo / ALBARIÑO RÍAS BAIXAS: FROM TRADITION TO THE WORLD
The Albariño Rías Baixas wine is today a global reference. This documentary shows the shift from a minority consumption and traditional elaboration, until takeoff, industrialization and standardization, and the conflicts emerging in the process.
Albariño Rías Baixas: from tradition to the world, is the first part of a documentary trilogy that portrays the ongoing Galician wine revolution. This first part describes the history and current situation of Albariño, a traditionally minoritarian and scarcely known wine, which has gained worldwide acclaim. However, the creation of the Rías Baixas Denomination of Origin and the industrialization of wine have raised controversies concerning the typicity of albariño, with different actors claiming for the elaboration of alternative and authentic wines reflecting terroir. Some of the most acclaimed wineries and best-known people, from sommeliers to winemakers and journalists, tell us this story of success, emotion... and wine.
Fire for Girls
Fire for Girls is a short experimental documentary set at the Saraswati Soni ashram in Dehradun North India.
author/director: Harsha Menon, year of production: 2018, languages: liturgical Sanskrit and Hindi, length: 20 minutes
Fire for Girls is a twenty minute experimental documentary set at the Saraswati Soni Akhila Bharatiya Ashram in Dehradun, North India. Founded in the 1930's by Saraswati Soni, a female Indian Independence freedom fighter, the ashram provides refuge for girls and widows. This observational piece focuses on the sounds of the daily morning fire ceremony, a Sanskrit ritual from 1800 BCE that is still performed for empowerment and peace. Usually reserved for men, here the older women teach the ceremony to ashram residents girls in a form of embodied transmission. Produced at the Harvard Film Study Center and evocative of Nathaniel Dorsky's devotional cinema, the film is an experiment in sonic ethnography and South Asian feminist historiography.
2016, 65 minutes, orig.language Russian
Death is not the end. I can see it from here though. This film is an essay on the phenomenon of "return" and potential transformation of death through the re-creation of the ancestors. It poses the universal question: How do you confront your own end?
Viktor Valerevich Mumikhotkak also known as "Mukha", Chukchi from the hamlet New Chaplino (Chukotka, Russia), died tragically in 2012. Somebody stabbed him in his abdomen and cut off his fingers. In 2014, when young Alla Ukuma gave birth to her first son, her mother told her: "Last night I saw Mukha in my dream. He had come back in your boy. Let us name your baby Viktor". According to the local people, the dead can return to the realm of the living up to five times. The film is an in-depth study of the phenomenon of "return" (rebirth) among Chukchi- and Yupik people in Chukotka, Russia. It provides new insights on the hidden mechanisms behind the death-related behaviour seen as transformation and re-creation of the ancestors in the newborns.
KHOZYAIN (The Host)
The tough life of Cossack Vasile Serghevici Serbov, who lives among the 40 remaining Lipovan Russians in the desolate village Sfiştofca in the Danube Delta.
Author/Director: Mircea Sorin Albutiu, Year of production: 2017, language: Romanian and Russian with English subtitles, length: 40 minutes,
film link: https://vimeo.com/213116194, password: festival1718, trailer Link: https://vimeo.com/213374384
Vasile Serghevici Serbov is 54 years old and lives in a small community of Lipovan Russians in Sfiştofca, a village in the Danube Delta.
Since he does not have a steady income he occasionally works as a carpenter in construction. All fishing he does is for his own needs only. Sometimes he barters fish for wine and throughout winter he gets paid for taking care of a friend's cattle. He has organized seven editions of the "White Gull" Chess Cup.
Sfiştofca is an isolated village whose school and local store were closed down a few years ago. The sad thing is that about half of the houses in Sfiştofca are deserted and have begun to collapse. Cattle and horses can often be seen grazing the grass growing on the village streets. During summer they take shelter in the abandoned houses. The village has no running water and no sanitation. There are just a few fresh water wells in the village. Due to excessive vegetation, the fish in the Sfiştofca canal die. These harsh conditions turn basic needs into a continuous struggle for the villagers who are deprived of such commodities as foood, water and heating.
The future looks bleak. It is possible that in the next 30 years the village Sfiştofca could disappear completely.
Land of Forges and Fire: Merthyr Tydfil in the 1800s
A short film focusing on French and German travellers to the Welsh industrial town of Merthyr Tydfil in the mid-nineteenth century and their descriptions of the town. The film was produced in 2018 and is 6'41" long. There are English, Welsh, German and French versions.
This is a short film focusing on French and German travellers to the Welsh industrial town of Merthyr Tydfil in the mid-nineteenth century and their descriptions of the town. Travellers came to marvel at the town at the forefront of Europe's industrial revolution.
The film was produced by Sanna and Lars Wicks and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales in partnership with Bangor University and the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies as part of the AHRC funded project "European Travellers to Wales". The film was produced in four languages and consists of a mix of archive images and animation, with a narration and a rich sound track.
The producers had several challenges to do with budgetary constraints, historic research, narrative construction and the balance between historic accuracy and good story telling.
The film is available here:
Long-term visual ethnography in a Bosnian village: Tracking spatial, material and emotional dimensions through time
Ethnographic film Lukomir, my home (2018, 62') is a visual ethnography of a high mountain village in Bosnia made from 2014 to 2017. Directors: Manca Filak, Žiga Gorišek (Ethnocinema production); Research: Žiga Gorišek; language: Bosnian (spoken), English (subtitles); H.264/MP 4, 16:9 format.
Description: Ethnographic film Lukomir, my home (2018, 62') is a visual ethnography of an elderly couple from Lukomir, the highest mountain village in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was in the making from 2014 until 2017 and it depicts one-year cycle of this transhumant sheepherders. The film shows different spatial and material dimensions of their movement, as well as the relationship to the life-style that is slowly disappearing. We see and sense the couple's connection to the land, movement, sheep and the changes. The film also opens a discussion on information we get through audiovisual material in comparison or vis-a-vis the written Master's thesis that was made together with it (what we see and cannot read).
Memory is not About the Past
Name of Director: Anne Chahine, year of Production: 2017, language: German, subtitles: English, length: 19min, previewlink: https://vimeo.com/201910376, password: memory
Created as part of my master thesis at the Free University Berlin - MA track Visual and Media Anthropology
The short documentary "Memory is Not About the Past" aims to understand how former East Germany is remembered in accordance with the general national historic discourse today. The film focuses on members of the Third Generation East, meaning individuals born in the GDR between 1975 and 1985, who experienced the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 as a child or young adolescent. The field of research is the city of Berlin and all its former East German districts. The intent of this ethnographic encounter is not to solely observe and conduct interviews, but also to stage encounters with the participants in order to access the different layers of memory and perception.
On her body
Anthropological film. Author: Edurne Urrestarazu Garcia, year of production: 2017, language: Spanish (English subtitles), length: 70 minutes.
This proposed documentary is a corporeal itinerary that follows Esther's, a 89 year old Spanish woman's, body practices. In 2013 she lost the sight from the right eye caused by a cataract operation, and since then her body changed: the eye became alive, something to complain about and it came as the first sign of her vulnerability. Although she used to be a strong and independent person, she realized that she would need help, and she asked for it to her family. Now her body has become the core of the care and it has brought attention to the negotiations around her limits and capabilities. Although she still can manage to do things, her children are the ones who have become almost the owners of their mother's body, and that creates some challenges on the caring processes. Esther's body has expanded beyond the limits of her skin, and its now place for negotiation, resistance and agency. In an age where most of our elder people have started going to elderly houses, this documentary shows the caring process carried by a family, and the difficulties that that emanates. It is the aim of the film to redefine the concept of the body by showing the different intertwined spheres that it goes through, as well as to show a case of an elderly person being taken care.
Past Songs Present Voices
This AV work uses songs of local communities around the world and incorporates western music thus contrasting local communities versus modern societies. The presentation intends to evoke in the audience awareness of and reflection on fast transformations in the world helping for a spiritual journey.
All audio and video material presented is recorded by myself during field works undertaken in the 6 years of studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music - program tonmeister. During the last years, I focused on recording traditional or local musics of different worlds among local communities, mainly focusing on documenting them in high quality audio. The music is recorded in Yunnan, Sichuan and Guangxi provinces of China, the Philippines, the Ukraine, and former Yugoslavia. Some of the musicians originate from Europe, India, Xinjiang and other parts of China. They were recorded in the studios of Royal Danish Academy of Music and in the studio at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
The first performance took place on 21st of September, 2018. Each and every further screening will be a unique experience, since audio and video are mixed live, interacting with each other and the atmosphere of the given space of each performance case. After the first performance, it became clear that we were able to transform the auditorium into a spiritual space, a space where one can feel and practically connect to the work, the performers, and to other audiences. Such a form of presentation crosses borders between ethnomusicological research and fine arts. After the performance, we would like to open a discussion on how the audience members perceived the composition.
Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)
"Research/Souvenir (Dialogues)", utilizes found footage from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and audio from Zimbabwe and South Africa among Zimbabwean migrant women. Horn's souvenirs are discussed revealing reasons for the ongoing Zimbabwean exodus and leads up to the removal of President Robert Mugabe.
"Research / Souvenir (Dialogues)", utilizes found Super 8mm footage from Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and audio from ethnographic research gathered among Zimbabwean migrant women in Cape Town, South Africa. Part 1, Research, reveals the personal thoughts and challenges faced by researcher/filmmaker Horn in the field. Part 2, Souvenir (Dialogues), offers the research participants an opportunity to question Horn about his choice of souvenirs from the field, providing the political and economic backdrop to the ongoing exodus of Zimbabweans and leads up to the removal of long standing President Robert Mugabe on November 21, 2017.
Functioning as an additional layer of consideration, the found home movies follow an unknown South African woman as she travels from Cape Town to Zimbabwe, a route mimicked by Horn. This form of visual representation seeks to call attention to the ongoing ethical issues and privileges researchers / filmmakers encounter within the context of the post-colonial landscape of Southern Africa.
Sonic Markers in Santiago de Cuba
2018, 30 min, soundwork
Spring 2018 - Santiago de Cuba. This sonic ethnography is a rendering of specific spatio-temporal "marks" of the city. The result is a sonic collage that invites the listener to assume a reflective stance and associate connections between sound, space, and time.
The materials for this sound piece were produced Santiago de Cuba in collaboration with local musicians and sound artists. These sonic ethnographies address the intimate spaces of Santiago de Cuba. Intimacy, in this context, points to improvised spaces that generate immanent experiences. The sound pieces are structured around two themes:
Mechanical Ghosts of Slavery - This sound piece is the result of a sonic contemplation on the legacy of slavery and industrialisation in Cuba.
Urban-scape & Music - The public sounds of Santiago de Cuba, the "cradle of Cuban music". These pieces consider location recordings as musical compositions. They invite listeners to consider the symphonic qualities of cities.
Spirits of The Three Peaks
In a village of the Republic of Tuva (Siberia, Russia) three women manage the religious organization of shamans "The Three Peaks". The documentary is centered on the main female character and exemplifies the multi-level transformations of post-Soviet Tuvan shamanism.
A documentary film. Ksenia Pimenova (director, camera), Paul Rambaud (editing). Paris, CNRS Images, 2016 (2017 for English version). 56 minutes. Languages: Russian, Tuvan. Subtitles: English.
In a village of the Republic of Tuva (Siberia, Russia) three women manage the religious organization of shamans "The Three Peaks" and deal with the local clients' requests for healing, ritual purifications, and divinations. The film is centered on Vera, a Russian woman from Moscow who has become a Tuvan shaman. A former New Age healer, she has learnt ritual techniques of shamanism from her Tuvan master in the early 1990s and has inherited his helping spirits. Vera's story exemplifies important questions within the anthropology of post-Soviet shamanism and its multi-level transformations. First, her autobiographical narrative reveals changing conceptions of shamanic spirit election, the power of the initiation, and new ways of intergenerational knowledge transmission. Second, her practice for local clients shows ritual communication as a transformative process that frames the uncertainty of everyday life and progressively turns people's questions into solutions. Finally, from a socio-political perspective, the power struggles between shamanic networks reflect the increasing centralization of post-Soviet Tuvan shamanism that is recognized as an official "confession" in the Republic of Tuva.
The Flight of the Condor: A Letter, a Song and the Story of Intangible Cultural Heritage
Tracking the global circulation of the melody "El Condor Pasa" from the Andes to the metropolis; from Lima to Paris to New York; from panpipes to piano to disco; and from world music back to national heritage, the film unpacks the global/local dialectic and studies paradoxes of heritage protection.
The film tracks the global circulation and transformation of the melody "El Condor Pasa": from the Andes mountains to global metropoles; from Lima to Paris to New York, and back; from panpipes to piano and from symphony orchestras to the disco; from indigenous to popular music; and from world music back to national heritage.
Some of the story's protagonists are: Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Daniel Alomía Robles, Alan Lomax, Los Incas, the Cerro de Pasco Copper Company, the Victor Talking Machine Corporation, the Falangist Socialist Party of Bolivia, Chuck Berry, NASA, WIPO and UNESCO.
The story that the film tells shows how individual personalities and states can shape texts that become the foundation of global narratives; and how propositions made for a particular local reason become global instruments with entirely different effects in other corners of the world.
Unpacking the global/local dialectic, the film is a case study in paradox; it analyzes the prehistory of international heritage/copyright norms, the way that prehistory travels in oral and written circulation, and the enduring problems it points to in the implementation of these norms.
The Mass - Moving through things
In movie/visual essay "The Mass" we followed up people on the move and social life and trajectory of life vests on so called Balkan migratory route. Through this parable of phenomenon of "migration crisis" we tried to exposed how are things included and interrelated with human bodies.
The movie Mass is a distillation of human evolution, a parable about the treatment of substance, an image of the control over bodies that are hanged on the world's tissue, or else disgorged from the ocean mass onto dry land, which is interwoven with bodies and the movement of hunters, gatherers, and vagabonds. Our observation of the various forms of abstracted masses, which we become part of at the same time, creates a platform of eternal presence - an active void if you will, which revolves in a closed circle, as though it had neither beginning nor end. What is left is just the stark presence of the traces of bared lives.
The Order I Live In. An indoor urban symphony
Madrid, México, Montevideo: the most important events in our cities are happening at home. In this visual ethnography on contemporary living, twenty dwellers introduce us to the spaces they live in, the stuff they love and other little things that give meaning to ordinary life.
Daniell thought he was going to have "a wife, three kids and all that", but his life did not went this way. Together with other voices, he pauses to reflect upon apparent trifles. The silent company of objects. Loneliness. Order and disorder. The image of ourselves, reflected in mirrors. The challenge to become oneself. The place for children. Travels and moves with no way back. The family legacy, that falls down on you as an unexpected burden.
In every one of these micro-stories the whole life of those doing the storytelling can be glanced. Ours is then both an exploration on singular, concrete intimacies, as well as a collective, choral discourse on the depth and beauties of the everyday (or, in the wording by George Perec, the daily making of "the infraordinary").
The movie results in an essay on the classic Urban Symphony genre. As a counterpoint of its best tokens (such as Berlin 1900, Amsterdam Global Village or Shortcuts, our modest aim has been instead to tell from the inside how do we live. To compose a kind of indoor urban symphony.
This is so because cities have been narrated from manifold perspectives, but scarcely from the inside. Urban poetics emerges, then, in a different tone. The big city does not appear as anonymous locus of commodities, industry and mass human relations. It is also ground for personal assertion, quest, surprise, self-discovering. Something attractive and enigmatic emerges at our homes: an order of our own. A universe.
Through the land of the Veps: 50 years later
This is a documentary film about the Veps living in the north-western Russia, about their identity and language.
Directors: Indrek Jääts, Maido Selgmäe, producer: Estonian National Museum, 2016, languages: Estonian, Russian, Veps, subtitles: English, length: 55 min
This documentary film is about the Veps living in the Leningrad Oblast in Russia, about their identity and language.
It is based on academic research focusing on the Soviet nationalities policy and the Veps ethnic identity in the late 20th century.
Whether to remain a Veps despite the circumstances or to blend into the Russians? Whether to hold fast native tongue or to switch completely to Russian?
Estonian ethnologists are travelling in the footprints of their former colleagues through the emptied villages. Scenes of the everyday life and interviews provide a view of the present-day life in the land of the Veps and the choices the Veps face today. Memory fragments and old photographs help to take a somewhat nostalgic look at a time when life still persisted there.
Work: .transmutação, https://vimeo.com/288070077/730ebcbf8c, Audiovisual live premiere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8s_c0DGmRo
Director: João Meirinhos, original Soundtrack: Mestre André, executive producer: Tânia C. Neves, http://novatradicao.com/
Year of production: 2018, language: N/A, length: 21'40
Video art & experimental music | “Transmutation – The beating of the last looms | part 1”, conscience is a spectacle of social conscience about the disappearance of manual weaving in Alentejo and the last weavers who are still working.
Through a composition produced by the experimentalist musician “André André”, accompanied by video, we will be able to identify the key moments of the creative process during sound pickup and the different “cadences” of each instrument of textile production, as well as the interaction between the musician, the look of the director João Meirinhos and the last weavers and spinners. The show will be presented on August 20 in Évora.
You are here
This film is the first-hand result of a trip following the so called 'refugee crisis' in 2015 from the Syrian-Turkish border till Germany. The anthropological lens provides here an experiential and prospective approach to the people on the move. Dir: Ignacio Fradejas-García. (2018) 15'15". English
The information during the so called 'refugee crisis' was disputed −journalist, photographers and filmmakers brought their respectable views. Anthropology should be present in such volatile contexts of liminal displacement/emplacement, but scarcity of funding and time have limited its presence. How can we do research about people on the move? What knowledge could offer an anthropological-experimental trip following the ubiquitous 'refugee crisis'? I followed this movement of people along the Balkans migration route, taking field notes, photographs and videos looking through my anthropological lens. The results are some writings and this film: a reflexive, prospective and experiential product aiming to do participant observation on the move. I argue that it is a suitable but potentially perfectible method to study unexpected displacements of people.
Yuyos: plants reflecting a changing community in Paraguay
Yuyos (2018) is an ethnographic film of 70'', by Michal Krawczyk and Giulia Lepori, in Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles. Format: mp4 HD 1080p. Country of filming: Paraguay. Info: echoesofecologies.noblogs.org/yuyos
"Yuyos are all spontaneous plants that can be medicinal or simple herbs. There are yuyos that can be toxic and other that are beneficial for health." In Colonia Luz Bella, Paraguay, two researchers live with the peasant family Franco Gauto to document their ethnobotanical knowledge in relation to their daily life. Nowadays, as deforestation devours much of the Paraguayan territory to make room for industrial, monocultures, genetically modified plants are substituting the endemic ones and changing the natural cultural landscape of the country. Born to recover the natural medicine's heritage of one family involved with agroecology, the ethnographic film speaks for a whole human and non-human community that is being transformed by deforestation. In a context of familiar sharing, eased by the social beverage of tereré, yuyos become narrative agents spurring their human others to tell the stories of commitment and eco-resistance about their changing world.