Ethnographic f(r)ictions

Xcèntric Archive

This playlist invites us to discover a series of works from the Xcèntric Archive catalogue that are far removed from the traditional ethnographic cinema of an objectivist and realist nature. These are exploratory works whose aim is to think about and create more open and critical anthropological films which, without ignoring the demands of ethnographic research, experiment in both formal and methodological terms.

Passagen, Lisl Ponger, 1996, 11'

In this essay, Ponger offers a collage of archive films shot by tourists and voices that speak of the relations of power and representation between Westerners and non-Westerners.

Déjà Vu, Lisl Ponger, 1999, 22'

Using found footage shot by Western tourists, Ponger questions how Westerners see the countries of the global South, revealing links between colonialism and the predatory logic of a tourist's gaze.

Trypps Malobi, Ben Russell, 2009, 12'

Trypps #6 (Malobi) presents a game of masks, approached as a reinterpretation of Rouch's cinema and his "cinema-trance". In this way, Russell transforms the act of filming into a kind of filmic catharsis, creating an improvised, dynamic and reflexive dance between the filmmaker, the camera and the people taking part in the film.

Black and White Trypps Number Three, Ben Russell, 2007, 11' 30''

In Black and White Trypps Number Three, Russell takes us to a death metal concert on Rhode Island, revealing how ritual, trance and the sacred also exist in our modern Western societies.

Montaña en sombra, Lois Patiño, 2012, 14'

In this work, which could be categorised as a kind of sensorial ethnography, Lois Patiño takes us into a mountainous landscape, inhabited and modified by human forces. By playing with scale, the filmmaker induces a feeling of estrangement, creating a hypnotic, dreamlike atmosphere that explores the relationship between humans and the immensity of the landscape.

Reminiscenses of a Journey to Lithuania, Jonas Mekas, 1972, 78' 10''

By means of an ethnographic diary, Mekas explores the experience of a displaced immigrant and his trip back to his country of origin. A poetic essay on memory and the wounds of war.

Nescafé Dakar, Lluís Escartín, 2008, 33' 56''

A film shot from a hospital window in Dakar reveals the difficulties and impossibilities of describing the realities of "Others" through film. A film that plays with proximity and distance, what we know about others and what we assume about them.

Amsterdam Global Village, nº 1, 2, 3, 4, Johan Van der Keuken, 1996, 244' 

A kind of ethnographic diary, in this film van der Keuken reveals the plurality of the cultural worlds that co-exist in Amsterdam. The author wonders what it means to "be home", what is "one's own" and what is "other".

You can view the works of this playlist in the Xcèntric Archive.