'Skin has eyes and ears': audio-visual ethnography in a Sepik society, Papua New Guinea.

Vavrova, Daniela (2014) 'Skin has eyes and ears': audio-visual ethnography in a Sepik society, Papua New Guinea. [Creative Work]

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83:22 minutes, English subtitles, HDV format, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Filmed, edited and produced by Daniela Vávrová.

The film is an audio-visual part of my PhD thesis bearing the same title. Skin has Eyes and Ears is a saying of the Ambonwari people living in the Karawari region of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. It tells how a person perceives and communicates with the external world through seeing and hearing. The film is an exploration into sensory experience of place and time among the Ambonwari during my one-year fieldwork in 2011. It explores the limits of sensory mediation through the screen while in the same time it plays with the infinite options of stimulation and interconnectedness of the senses possible only through the film experience.

Research Statement

Research Background This feature-length film is based on several visits and a year of fieldwork in Ambonwari village of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. The film shows the rhythm of living in and of the environment inhabited by many different animals and plants and the way the filmmaker and Ambonwari experienced it in 2011. Audio-visual methods explore how people shape, and are shaped by, their social and cultural environment through their sensory experience.
Research Contribution Following phenomenological insights derived from Maurice Merleau-Ponty and David MacDougall, among others, the film explores the reciprocal function of senses as productive of specific forms of knowledge, focusing on concepts of 'skin' and 'insideness', and the seen and the invisible. The camera is theorised as catalyst for an exchange of vision. Through dialogic editing, the film juxtaposes different images and sounds to convey an Ambonwari sense of the place as lived sensory experience.
Research Significance The film was selected for screenings at several ethnographic film festivals including the 13th GIEFF (Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival) in Germany, 4–8 May 2016 where it won the Best Student Film Award. It was also screened at: FACA (Festival of Anthropological Cinema & Art) Lisbon, Portugal, March 11 2016; Fieldwork in Social Sciences: New Tools, Changing Practices and Emerging Boundaries of an Evolving Practice, Workshop, Paris, France, 30–31 May 2016; DEF (Days of Ethnographic Film) Ljubljana, Slovenia, March 9–13 2015; NAFA, Isafjordur, Iceland, 4-6 June 2014; 33rd Jean Rouch International Film Festival, Paris, France, 8-14 November 2014; SVA (Society for Visual Anthropology) Film and Media Festival, American Anthropological Association Conference, Washington DC, USA, 3-7 December 2014.
Item ID: 43692
Item Type: Creative Work (Recorded/Rendered Work - Audio/visual recording - NTRO)
Media of Output: DVD
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Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2017 00:06
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950201 Communication Across Languages and Culture @ 100%
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