PhD and MPhil films
The Granada Centre is committed to supporting the making of documentary films that contribute to debate and discussion in and around social and cultural anthropology conceived in the broadest sense. The films on this page represent a selection of the most recent works produced by students enrolled on the following programmes:
PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media
This is a programme of up to four years' duration that is open to all those with a first degree in social or cultural anthropology, or a closely related field. After a first year of preparation, including training in both film-making and ethnographic research methods as required, students generally spend at least a year carrying out fieldwork. During this time, they shoot material for one or more films as well as take conventional written notes. In preparing the dissertation, they edit their film material as well as write up their notes. The regulations state that although the text will be of 'paramount importance', the film material should be 'a necessary and integral' aspect of the work. Read more
MPhil in Ethnographic Documentary
This is a one year programme that can also be taken over two years on a part-time basis. After an initial period of preparation, students are expected to carry out fieldwork of at least three months duration during which they shoot material for one or more films. This material is then edited and presented in the form of a DVD of up to four hours' duration. This DVD should involve some commentary on the films, but this may be in a visual or a textual form. This programme is aimed at those who have already completed the MA in VIsual Anthropology or an equivalent degree and want to develop their ethnographic documentary-making to a higher level. It is also intended for those who have equivalent professional experience and wish to engage with ethnographic film-making in an academic environment. Read more.
Further details about the research projects pursued by students on these programmes are available at the postgraduate research students page.
Memories on the Edge of Oblivion (2010, 31 mins)
Andre Cicalo, PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media
Despite the central place that Rio de Janeiro played in the Atlantic slave trade until the end of the 19th century, traces of this past remain largely hidden in the urban landscape. This forgetting is not simply a random phenomenon; it also relates to the ideal of racial democracy which has been used to downplay racial inequalities in Brazil in the name of national mixture. But although barely visible, the memory of a slave past has not been erased completely; it emerges ambiguously, but also powerfully, in the daily life of Tia Lúcia and Alder, the main characters of this film.
Lumina amintirii / In the Light of Memory (2010, 39 mins)
Alyssa Grossman, PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media
This film explores sites and practices of memory in post-socialist Bucharest, twenty years after the fall of Romanian communism. It was shot in Cismigiu Gardens, one of the oldest public parks in Bucharest. This central, urban space attracts people from all walks of life; it is a place for social interaction and solitary reflection.
Interweaving recollections of the past with present-day scenes from the park, the film presents a montage of stillness and motion, images and voices, landscapes and people.
Gathering Strength (2009, 34 mins)
Joceny Pinheiro, PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media
My research focuses on contemporary processes of indigenous (and black) identification in the context of the Brazilian Northeast. After living with a number of community leaders and taking part in several indigenous gatherings in the state of Ceará, I came to realise that it is through the performance of indigenousness that a group of people become (also in the sense of being acknowledged) ‘indigenous’. I have used video and photography to explore the embodied dimension of those performances, and thus give a glimpse into how indigenousness is publicly presented through the activities of discoursing, narrating, singing, praying, and dancing.
In Gathering Strength, the film that accompanies my thesis, I have also looked at the ways certain leaders experience indigenousness and define their identities. Gathering Strength has been screened in the UK, Brazil, Portugal, Canada and France.
Casado's Legacy (2009, 49 mins)
Valentina Bonifacio, PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media
For a century, Maskoy people of Paraguay worked in a tannin factory owned by a certain Carlos Casado. This factory, founded on land that belonged to the Maskoy, based its production on the exploitation of local natural resources. After exhausting these resources, the company closed the factory and sold the land. For Maskoy people who fought against the company to repossess their land, Casado’s legacy is a land without food. On this land, they are having to rebuild their life - economically, politically and ritually.