Hi everyone! And welcome to my blog: Como Se Llama? I hope you follow me as I head off to Peru this summer and as I work towards completing my thesis for Anthropology. Thanks!

In the Meantime

Between now and when I embark on my epic journey to South America I will be teaching a Film Production class to a group of high school girls from the area. I started doing this last summer and I loved it, so here I am again. I’m currently putting the final touches on my syllabus and organizing various hand-outs and getting pumped to help some kids make some movies.

As fun as I find teaching, it’s mind-boggling how much these kids look up to me. No matter what I say, they sit at their desks and absorb it all, scribbling verbatim whatever I’m preaching about. Being up in front of the classroom is a whole different perspective than the one I have been used to for the past fifteen or so years of my life, and I’m much more comfortable lounging in a desk chair with my feet sticking out at all angles wearing jeans and a tshirt. I guess wearing nice clothes with just have to grow on me.

Because this class that I’m teaching is at the college-prepratory level, each one is 2 hours long, which is longer than I ever thought I could talk for. Luckily, as I found out last summer, I have a lot to say about film, I know a lot of history and production and it’s interesting stuff. But being handed a 2 hour block of time and 12 high school students 3 times a week can be somewhat nerve-racking. I’m looking forward to meeting my class this year and see what kinds of crazy creative ideas they’ve got rumbling around in their heads.

I am, of course, taking my knowlege of film production with me to Peru where I will be putting together a short documentary about the role of Sendero Luminoso in Ayacucho and Andahuaylas, past and present. Visual Anthropology is a new sub-field that has been slow to emerge from the very politically rigid structure of Anthropology, but I think in this age of technology it is beneficial that we learn to combine technology with the social sciences. Especially within Anthropology there is no better way to capture or preserve a culture than through real-time video and aduio recordings. Of course, cultures, languages and historical events are all subject to the point of view of the transscriber whether the material be in film or written medium, but unedited film or audio recording could very much serve the purpose of Anthropological data collection.

In my project I plan on keeping as much raw footage as possible when it comes to capturing historical events and daily life in the towns. To keep my piece moving smoothly, I will be editing down and rearranging interviews, clumping clips and excerpts by topic or argument. The most challenging part of all this for me is that I do not speak the native language, Qechua. My Spanish is okay and I’ll be able to get by, and it will probably improve a lot while I’m in Peru, so I am hoping that my interviewees will speak Spanish as well as Qechua. If not, I’ll just have to find myself an interpreter. Or get one of those cool radio transmitter earpieces that translates like in a high priced Hollywood action movie.

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