In this session we will discuss whether or not ethnographic films made by women and about women give expression to another perspective in the world. Do they reveal specific kinds of aesthetics and sensitivity in relation to the subjects filmed in the field?
The fields of feminism and postcolonialism intersect through their shared concern with resisting the enduring masculinist and heterosexual ideologies and structures of power that sustain Western-situated normative views of reality. Feminist and postcolonial scholars have challenged the authority of Westerns discourses of truth by calling attention to their constructed nature, and by investigating the everyday-life politics involved in struggles over gender inequality, sexual orientation, race and ethnicity. In this session we will discuss whether or not ethnographic films made by women and about women have been influenced by feminist and postcolonial concerns and/or give expression to another point of view about the world, revealing different social relations with, and/or specific kinds of aesthetics and sensitivity in relation to the subjects filmed in the field. We will also explore why, unlike in written anthropology, discourses about visual anthropology as a discipline seldom referred to the work of female anthropologist filmmakers, and/or why female anthropologist filmmakers seem less prone to profile themselves in these discourses. Ironically, there are today more women enrolled in visual anthropology courses than ever before. What are they doing? In what kinds of professional and academic domains do they circulate their work? How can we begin rewriting the recent history of visual anthropology in order to include their practices?