Workshop: The Visible City? Part I

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 3:30 PM-5:20 PM
Room: 417
WG03 Visual Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

Cities and neighbourhoods provide multiple forms of visual data in which to understand social issues and inequalities. This panel (part 1+2) will explore what the visual revealed in two collaborative feature documentaries: “Jeppe on a Friday” and “St-Henri the 26th of August”. A city can be seen in news reports, crime statistics or the backgrounds of post-apocalyptic Hollywood blockbusters. It can be explored through guided tours, from behind rolled up car windows or through politics and history. In the documentary “Jeppe on a Friday” (87 min) Shannon Walsh and Arya Lalloo bring together a team of South African women directors to explore a different city: the Johannesburg that beats in the men who occupy it. The result is an intimate, quiet portrait of five people from Jeppe, a decayed inner city neighbourhood. As they grapple with the existential and mundane, the city's specific textures and social contradictions are revealed. “Jeppe on a Friday” draws from a rich tradition of city-centered direct cinema, and offers a record of life in Johannesburg that demystifies the often-maligned male-dominated metropolis. “Jeppe” follows “St-Henri the 26th of August” (2011, 85 min) in which 16 Montreal filmmakers captured a variety of stories and lives in the working-class neighbourhood of Saint-Henri in Montreal. “St-Henri” explores everyday social practices and usage of urban territory in creating community. In this panel, filmmakers and visual anthropologists reflect on their experiences as part of these two film projects exploring everyday practices in the city.
Session Organizer:
Shannon WALSH, City University Hong Kong, China
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