Reflecting Upon Interculturality in Ethnographic Filmmaking
Ethnographic filmmaking captures a language that is different from that of written ethnography and as such constitutes an important research medium. However, written and spoken forms of qualitative research still overshadow the visual realm and the paper addresses this gap by arguing that the language of ethnographic filmmaking is central to our understanding of otherness. It demonstrates the role of film in illuminating the "intercultural" dynamics between minority (participant) and majority (researcher) and in challenging the traditional power relations between the researcher and his/her "subjects". Ethnographic filmmaking is a research technique that has evolved considerably since its early colonial usage (based largely around disempowered and stereotyped representations of otherness). This evolution began to take hold in the 1970's, with a wave of self-criticism and theoretical reflection about the role and impact of the ethnographic film. The result, today, is a great deal of reflexivity and inter-subjectivity and a more nuanced appreciation of interculturality within qualitative research. It is this relatively recent and growing personal and theoretical reflection—allied with the fact that the ethnographic film is still very much an under-utilised research technique—that provides the basis for the paper.
ethnographic filmmaking; ethnography; reflexivity; interculturality; intersubjectivity; film authority