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Accepted Paper:

Sisterhood at Times of War: Transcending Borders Through the Co-creation of a Documentary Film, Ballad for Syria  

Author:

Eda Elif Tibet (University of Bern)

Paper short abstract:

Is knowledge only knowledge when offered to the academic readership? Acknowledging that written language is also a border produced in academia we emphasize the importance of artistic intimate and co-creative collaborations in locating and transforming the Global North and South divide.

Paper long abstract:

Knowledge rooted in the pain, suffering and struggle of the unfortunate, flows from peripheries and margins to the center where fortunate job holders are located. Such knowledge is converted into data sets to be held captive as institutional intellectual property in the form of university lectures, seminars, journal articles and monographs. This results in the reproduction of unfair theory cut off from its empirical origins. This particularly the case in the emotionally distanced writing up that erases research participants as co-researchers and co-authors. Following Gayatri Spivak and bell hooks we ask: whose intellect is the source of knowledge? Who do we mean by the intellectual and to whom do we assert the term? Is knowledge only knowledge when offered to the academic readership? Acknowledging that written language within anthropology is also a border within itself in the field of migration, we emphasize the importance of artistic and intimate collaborations in locating and transforming the Global North and South divide. In an attempt of bridging the gap, we discuss the processes of making a self reflexive co-creative participatory documentary film Ballad for Syria (47 mins, 2017) as the co-directors of the film and the co-authors of this paper. We explore the ways in which how we shift power dynamics by blurring hierarchies in between the researcher, the researched, the film-maker and the filmed. We shed light on how through sisterhood at times of war we enabled access to asylum and transcended the borders within the understandings and enactments of refuge itself.

Panel P082
New Horizons for Anthropological Authorship: Co-creation and the Production of Knowledge in Times of Global Change