Innovative filmmaking marks VES program

first_imgAn intimate relationship between the residents of Harbin city in northeastern China and their mother river, the Songhua. A revealing insight into the personal struggles and national identity of Sudanese potters on the banks of the White Nile. These are the subjects of two ethnographic films premiering Feb. 11 at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography.The program, “Sensory Ethnography: New Harvard Student Ethnographic Works,” features films about experience, culture, and nature by Harvard’s Visual and Environmental Studies (VES) and anthropology students. The films, “Songhua” by J.P. Sniadecki and “Mud Missive” by Fatin Abbas, are part of a VES/anthropology course that challenges students to bypass traditional forms of ethnographic filmmaking and engage both familiar and unfamiliar cultural phenomena with fresh eyes and ears.“Both ‘Mud Missive’ and ‘Songhua’ exemplify innovative ethnographic filmmaking — where the filmmakers retain a patient and unwavering gaze upon their subjects going about their daily lives,” says the Peabody Museum’s Associate Curator of Visual Anthropology Ilisa Barbash, explaining that when most people consider ethnographic filmmaking, they imagine a National Geographic-type documentary. “In contrast,” she says, “these films are slices of life, portraits of individual people in a particular time and place. Any narration is personal, and the editing is comprised of long, patient takes.” This approach allows the audience to enter the sensory worlds of the film subjects in an intimate way, she explains. “The focus on minutiae invites the audience to contemplate these activities in a larger global and political context.”“‘Songhua’ is the first visual work I’ve made in China,” says Sniadecki, a doctoral candidate in social anthropology. “It’s also the first time I’ve explored a sense of place through the lens of a camera and the electronic signal of a microphone.” While studying film as an undergraduate in Michigan, Sniadecki spent his junior year learning Mandarin in Shanghai. His interest in Chinese society and media anthropology eventually led him back to China to film “Songhua” and his most recent project, “Demolition.” Both screened internationally.“This is my first film,” says Abbas, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Literature and Comparative Studies. “It’s kind of scary in some ways.” Scary, surely, judging from the intimate nature of “Mud Missive,” which reflects not just on the people of Sudan, but on Abbas’ own life as a Sudanese expatriate. By interweaving the materials and activities of Sudanese potters, Abbas delves into the issue of identity — through her subjects, herself, and a Sudanese nation in conflict with itself.“It’s also very exciting, too,” she is quick to add.Sniadecki agrees. “I am grateful to share this piece with the Harvard community, and am continually amazed that, no matter where it is shown, viewers find within it a range of significance which cannot be reduced to a single interpretation.”After the screening, the filmmakers will partake in a discussion moderated by Barbash, who welcomes Sniadecki and Abbas to the legion of filmmakers who have received critical support from the Peabody Museum. “The Peabody Museum’s involvement in ethnographic film projects is over half a century old,” says Barbash. “It was the birthplace of Harvard’s Film Study Center in the 1950s, which has produced some of the most important and seminal ethnographic films of the 20th century.”last_img read more


Boys’ Hoops: Lorain fights back to beat Strongsville, 64-59

first_img Related TopicsLorain TitansStrongsville Mustants By David RiveraLORAIN, OHIO– Defense was key for Lorain on Saturday night, holding Strongsville to only eight points in the fourth quarter, spurring a comeback for the Titans at the new Shot Palace, 64-59. With the win, Lorain improves to 2-0 while Strongsville falls to 1-1 on the season.It was a game of runs. Strongsville came out swinging early showing they would not be intimidated by the home opener festivities. The sellout crowd was quiet early on as Omari Peek put on a clinic to start things off. The 6-foot-6 senior point guard did it all. His athleticism was on full display from the beginning as he scored eight points in the first quarter alone, outscoring the entire Titan team. He was able to get his teammates involved as well as provide a defensive presence with some monster blocks.In the second quarter, it was the Titans who warmed up, sparked by Devon Grant. The junior point guard scored 10 points in the quarter. His quickness and dribbling ability was able to break down the defense leading to the Titans outscoring the Mustangs by 13 to close out the half. With the crowd back into it, the Strongsville lead was cut to seven at the break, 34-27.The start of the second half was all Strongsville as they came out on a 10-0 run to start the third quarter, led by senior Bernie McGivern who had eight straight points including a couple of deep 3-pointers. It looked like the Titans were toast, but another star would shine and put the team on his back.Taevon Pierre-Louis went off scoring nine of Lorain’s 11 points in the quarter. The defense began to tighten up on the Mustangs, led by Kameron Davis who was tasked with trying to stop Peek. The 5-foot-6 guard was all over Peek the rest of the way holding him to just seven second-half points after a great start. Sami Farraj did everything he could to pick up where Peek left off, finishing with eleven points on the night. After having a huge night to open the season senior Shaun Csire was held to only eight points.The stretch run was a complete team effort on both ends of the floor, as seven Titans scored in the comeback outscoring Strongsville 19-8 to close it out. The crowd was into it and happy that this young Titan team pulled together for a second week in a row to rally from behind.So far, Lorain head coach John Rositano has compared the young team to a roller coaster ride with some highs and lows but tons of heart. They expect to win because of the winning tradition but also with the way they practice all week.“Defense and poise down the stretch is what we depend on to win games,” said Rositano. “We are gonna fight and scrap all year, we aren’t that big as years past but were gonna be aggressive.”Once again, Pierre-Louis paced the Titans with a game high 19 points and Devon Grant pumped in 18 to lead the Titans to victory. Peek finished with 15 to lead the Mustangs while Farraj chipped in with 11. NEO HS Stafflast_img read more