CEE | Center for Experimental Ethnography
Pop-up Exhibition Hosted by Penn Museum
Hostile Terrain 94 is a participatory political art project sponsored and organized by the Undocumented Migration Project based at UCLA. The project memorializes and bears witness to the thousands of migrants who have died as a result of Prevention Through Deterrence, the U.S. immigration policy between Mexico and the United States. The pop-up installation at Penn Museum—to be on display September 25th for one day only—will be created by hundreds of people throughout Penn and Philadelphia. Volunteers will meet at various locations to handwrite on toe tags the identifying details of the nearly 3200 people whose bodies have been recovered along the Southern Arizona border since 2000. The time commitment is 30 minutes.
The tags are then be placed on a wall map of the Arizona/Mexico border in the exact location where corresponding human remains were found, to be on exhibition in Penn Museum September 25–27, 2019.
The event is cosponsored by Penn’s Department of Anthropology, Center for Experimental Ethnography, Cinema and Media Studies Program, Latin American and Latino Studies Program, Penn Provost, Price Lab for Digital Humanities, and Sachs Program for Arts Innovation.
For those volunteering on MONDAY, September 23:
SCREENING & DISCUSSION WITH SHAINA ANAND
In Conversation with Deborah Thomas/ Center for Experimental Ethnography
Shaina Anand is a filmmaker and artist who has been working independently in film and video since 2001, and since 2007 as CAMP, a Mumbai-based studio for transdisciplinary media practices, which she co-founded with Ashok Sukumaran. CAMP's provocative, ethnographic work in video and film, electronic media and public art forms over the past decade have shown how deep technical experimentation and artistic form can meet while extracting new qualities and experiences from contemporary life and materials. From their home base in Chuim village, Mumbai they run the online archives https://Pad.ma and https://Indiancine.ma, and the community space R and R, among other activities including their long-running rooftop cinema. Shaina is also founding trustee of The Indian Cinema Foundation and curator of THE NEW MEDIUM, at the Mumbai Film Festival.
The Neighbor Before The House Program includes a presentation, screening, and discussion taking place at Slought on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. In the presentation preceding the film, Shaina Anand will explore surveillance systems, critical documentary filmmaking, and community participation, and experimentation. This presentation will be followed by a special screening of Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbor Before the House) (60 min, 2011) and a conversation with Deborah Thomas of the Center for Experimental Ethnography.
The Neighbor Before the House is a series of video probes by CAMP (Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran, and Nida Ghouse, with Mahmoud Jiddah, Shereen Barakat, and Mahasen Nasser-Eldin) into the landscape of East Jerusalem. The film centers on Eight Palestinian families who use their TV screens to look out into their neighborhood. Shot with a PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) CCTV security camera mounted on the rooftops of their homes, these images show the before and after of instrumental "surveillance."
Instead of bearing witness in the usual way, these families control the cameras from their homes, a voice finds an image, an image is probed beneath its surface, and thoughts withdraw or rebound, as Palestinians evaluate the nature of their distance from others. They observe nearby archeological digs, their homes, the West Bank barrier, both near and far settlement activity, and other seemingly mundane aspects of the relentless occupation of East Jerusalem. Inquisitiveness, jest, memory, desire, and doubt pervades the project of watching. At other times, narrative spills out first and the live camera operator seeks an image that might provide evidence.
ECOLOGIES OF DOCUMENTARY RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
What can video art, experimental documentary, and sensory ethnography teach us about the practice of critical urban, spatial, and environmental research? Conversely, how are scholar-filmmakers utilizing audiovisual tools and contributing to these genres of film and video art? Geosocial Encounters connects documentary artists with researchers and scholar-filmmakers in the environmental humanities.
The symposium is co-organized by Dr. Rahul Mukherjee, Assistant Professor of Television and New Media Studies, and Dr. Ben Mendelsohn, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities. The event will begin with a film screening at Slought the evening of Thursday, September 19 and continue with a series of panels throughout the day on Friday, September 20.
Geosocial Encounters a project of the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities It is supported by the School of Arts and Sciences and University Research Fund, the Department of English, the Cinema and Media Studies Program(link is external), the Wolf Humanities Center, the Center for Experimental Ethnography, the Center for Advanced Research in Global Communication, and the Center for Media at Risk.
View details here.
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