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East Asian Studies

Global Flows and Minority Media Production in Southwest China

Date: January 19 2012 4:00pm Location: Miller Hall

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Miller Hall

Tami Blumenfield, PhD

This talk discusses intersections between artists and filmmakers from
Europe, South Korea, and Japan in a small ethnic minority community in
the foothills of the Himalayas. The Na who live there attract the imagination of outsiders for their perceived sexual freedom and their egalitarian gender system. After over a decade of tourism and media production focused on their community, a digital media training course I organized in collaboration with the Moso Folk Museum helped local people amplify their own voices in the representational cacophony. After the training ended, Archei traveled to Beijing to create a film about a Dutch woman who purchased part of a Na family’s house as part of her own artistic imaginings. This film then screened at an international film festival held in Kunming, China. Despite its enthusiastic reception, Archei declined to pursue distribution. In this talk, I analyze his decision and its implications for community-based media production more broadly.

Tami received her PhD from the University of Washington in 2010. Her dissertation, Scenes from Yongning: Media Creation in China’s Na Villages,” discussed a collaborative media project that involved a community film festival and ethnographies of
media production. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Sociology & Anthropology Department and currently teaches Gender in Asia and introductory cultural anthropology courses.

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