Sharing the Making of Ethnographic Film: Analyzing Participation

Sharon R. Sherman (University of Oregon, emerita)

A historical look at the development of collaborative ethnographic filmmaking by pioneers such as Boas, Flaherty, and Mead indicated some collaboration with their “informants.” More contemporary works exhibit the feminist and post-colonial influences now guiding filmmakers; the choice to share and shape the project with those filmed seems somewhat obvious. How much input do they actually have in the final product once edited? What determines how everyone sees intangible cultural heritage? Will film/video protect it? I suggest that extensive discussions of ethics and proper training in filmmaking and ethnographic writing are essential for folklorists who wish to contribute to conserving intangible cultural heritage.

Part of 01-14 Media: Film, Podcasts, and Web Resources in Folklore Studies, Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am