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Transcending the borders of ‘indigenous’ filmmaking in Colombia’

LULKOWSKA, Agata (2017) Transcending the borders of ‘indigenous’ filmmaking in Colombia’. In: International Conference Border Subjects/Global Hispanisms, 24-25 November 2017, The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Centre for Iberian and Latin American Birkbeck, University of London. (Unpublished)

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Abstract or description

A plethora of films and other audiovisual forms is presented annually in various parts of the globe. Film festivals, regular screenings, academic presentations, and broadcast media channels, not even mentioning the omnipresent Internet sources, offer an ever-increasing number of films of various genre and origin. This abundance of productions requires some system of categorisation for the audiences in order to help them find a way in this profusion of choices. One of the most commonly used methods to help navigate in this chaos is by categorising the films by their types, genres, directors, or countries of origin. These ‘labels’ often relate to set of commonly shared preconceptions. As a result, they create expectations, influencing potential audiences not only in the choice of what they will watch or not but often also in the perception of the film. Additionally, the venue and the type of the event where these films get to be presented might profoundly affect their reception, i.e. ‘ethnographic’ film festival will have a different kind of audiences and expectations to an ‘artistic’ one.
This paper explores the mainstream ambitions of indigenous filmmakers from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia. Using the example of the Arhuaco filmmaking collectives, Zhigoneshi and Yokosowi, and their supporters, I analyse the aims to transcend the boundaries of what is labelled as ‘indigenous cinema’. In the contexts of the historical misinterpretations of the Arhuaco culture by the Western filmmakers and the violence of the region, they reached for the audiovisual media to communicate, promote, and rediscover the indigenous values of their community. This resulted in far-reaching initiatives which not only rediscovered the Arhuaco history but also redefined indigenous filmmaking in the region.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: For access to the PowerPoint slides please contact
Faculty: School of Computing and Digital Technologies > Film, Media and Journalism
Event Title: International Conference Border Subjects/Global Hispanisms
Event Location: The Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities Centre for Iberian and Latin American Birkbeck, University of London
Event Dates: 24-25 November 2017
Depositing User: Agata LULKOWSKA
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2020 16:15
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:57

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