Aida, Lioness among Free Lions
Anthropology Screening Room - a film by Metje Postma
Metje Postma will show (part of) a first version of her documentary: Aida, Lioness among Free Lions (2017, 120 min). The film is one of three films that are the result of a visual ethnographic study - combining text and image - of a Sudanese Arab Bedouin community: the Rashayda.
The Rashayda. established a militia; the Free Lions, and revolted against the Sudanese government between 2000 and 2007, and many of whom consequentially fled to Eritrea.
‘In this study I compared three ways of representing the community; from a humanitarian point of view, from the political perspective of the rebel leader and from the perspective of the people, especially women, living in the camp. Each perspective is reflected in a separate film. This film: Aida Lioness among Free Lions made in Observational Cinema style, approaches life in the camp of the rebel group the Rashayda Free Lions, via the portrayal of one of the leading women in the camp. The film intends to explore the space for women to claim agency in their own lives in times of crisis. Aida is a woman who makes use of the opportunities that occur as result of the crisis situation. She balances between keeping in step with traditional expectations and purchasing her own freedom, in which every step is determined by how she succeeds to maintain a respected position and the social space she succeeds to negotiate with her male relatives and those in authority in the camp.‘
Metje Postma intends the screening to function as a test to explore to what extend the choices made in the editing communicate what she has intended to achieve.
About Metje Postma
Metje Postma is an ethnographic filmmaker, and lecturer in Visual Ethnography at Leiden University.
Earlier work: Por que se van ? (1985), Of Men and Mares (1998), Voices in the Desert, the Rashaayda and Fuzum (2005). Metje Postma & Peter Ian Crawford (2006) Reflecting Visual Ethnography, doing anthropological research with the camera, CNWS Press/Intervention Press, Aarhus.
Anthropology Screening Room
Visual anthropology can help to open up the boundaries of academia, by bringing new elements into our theoretical discussions and by strengthening our interactions with non-academics, including research participants. What are the opportunities of integrating visual methods in anthropological research? How can we use film productively as output in alliance with text? What are the institutional limits of doing so, and how can we stretch them?
The Anthropology Screening Room aims to foster a space in the AISSR and in the Anthropology Department to reflect upon visual methods in anthropology. We want to discuss questions such as: what does film / text do to anthropology? How do the narratives and media we use as anthropologists shape the ‘fields’ we attempt to study? To engage with these questions and more, we have prepared a film screening agenda around topics and concerns.
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