Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh wow, So much to tell....

Beeld voor Beeld is over and it was a loooong week. Yesterday and today were supposed to be my film-review and photoshop-lightroom days, but unfortunately I got sick while taking care of a sick person and have been in bed or sleeping on the couch most of the time. In between that, and trying to find the engery to feed myself and keep the house livably-clean, I haven't found the time to do much of anything. I even left my sore-throat emergency Ben and Jerry's at the sick person's house... 

So this is my I.O.U. post. I promise to write a response to Men in the City, The Old Harp, Twenty Days that Shook Tehran, and Daughters of Malakeh as well as my experience behind the scenes of the festival. I'll try to get to them while procrastinating from editing my own film, and writing my thesis.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Beeld voor Beeld Photos WEDNESDAY

The 22nd edition of the festival, june 7-12, TropenTheater Amsterdam

Dr. Howard Morphy, who lead the discussions following the student films.

Eddy Appels, Festival Director, Introducing the 22nd edition of the Beeld voor Beeld Festival.

The closing words of the opening speech.

Discussion with director, Marc Isaacs, lead by Hans Beerekamp.

Everything filmed, with love and dedication, by the Visual Anthropology students at Leiden University.

Beeld voor Beeld

The Beeld voor Beeld Festival is going on this week at the Tropen Theater in Amsterdam. The first films were shown yesterday, starting with six student films during the day time, and Men of the City by Marc Isaacs (UK)as the official opening of the festival.

The wonderful thing about this festival, is that each screening is followed by Q&A with the filmmaker which invites critical discussion amongst the audience members, most of whom are in the field.

Throughout the week, I will be posting photographs from the festival that will hopefully stimulate your senses and tempt you to attend the festival, be it this year or next.

If you can't make it to Amsterdam however, many of the discussions with the filmmakers wil be streamed live by DocsOnline. On Sunday, I will actually be operating the camera during the streamed discussion, as well as filming an intimate interview with the filmmakers that will later be combined in an item about the film that will appear on a special DocsOnline website, as well as their youtbe channel. Very excited! I expect you all to watch my filmic debut when it arrives.

The First Annual Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture

This tuesday, the Beeld voor Beeld (Frame by Frame) Documentary Film Festival was opened in Leiden at the University with the first Annual Adriaan Gerbrands Lecture. Anthropologists, Archeologists and Historians collected themselves at the lecture given by Dr. Howard Morphy.


Things made by man convey a message [...] It is through things that man visualized, admittedly mainly for his own purposes, ideas and thoughts that shape his culture, his particular communication system. They are the picture-book of his culture, of a culture. All we have to do is to learn how to read it. (Gerbrands 1990, 51) 

Gerbrands emphasized participatory ethnographic fieldwork and added a new element to the ethnography of material culture by introducing visual methods - both photography and cinematography. He always emphasized the importance of the study of objects and other non-verbal aspects of communication. In this way he brought material culture and visual ethnography to the University. It is necessary, he proclaimed, that the study of cultural anthropology should include both practical and theoretical training in the use and application of photography, film, and sound recording. His combination of approaches with an emphasis on the individual and on material culture (in the widest sense) culminated in Gerbrands' theory and methodology of ethnocommunication.

I intended to include a part of his film Matjemosh, which is widely acclaimed in the disciplines of anthropology of art and ethno-cinematography, but the internet claims there is not a single video that matches the keywords "matjemosh", "adriaan gerbrands" or "gerbrands anthropology". You will just have to take my word for it that this film, considering its production in the 60s, and the filmic conventions of the time, is absolutely amazing and inspirational to young visual anthropologists. I will attempt to convince Pieter ter Keurs or Janine Prins to allow me to place an excerpt of the film online. I am sure they will be happy to provide the footage, as I am sure they will agree that Gerbrand's work is not celebrated widely enough and needs to be more accessable.