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Farmer-filmmakers, fieldwork, and growth

Becca Voelcker

18:30-20:00, July 29, 2024

Room L-821, 8F, Library, Sophia University

In person only / No registration required

 

Drawing on research for her book, Land Cinema in an Age of Extraction (California University Press, 2026), Becca will present a talk titled ‘Farmer-filmmakers, fieldwork, and growth’. Using ten photographs, the talk explores two highly unusual experiments in going ‘back to the land’. In the mid-1970s, the leftist activist groups Ogawa Productions (Japan) and Somankidi Coura (Mali) both moved to rural areas to establish agricultural collectives, documenting and disseminating their fieldwork on film. Using soil and celluloid, these farming-filmmaking collectives understood their struggle for justice as encompassing climate and culture, their yield as being both self-sufficiency and self-representation. Seen today, their rural experiments offer timely insight into what Anna Tsing describes as possibilities for collaborative survival on the edges of extractive capitalism.


Dr Becca Voelcker lectures in art and film history at Goldsmiths, University of London, specialising in anticolonial and ecofeminist representations of land since the 1970s. Becca received her PhD from Harvard University in 2021. Her first book, Land Cinema, is forthcoming with California University Press. The book is a cross-cultural history of eco-political cinema based in ten locations including Wales, where Becca grew up, and Japan, where she lived as a young adult. Alongside research, Becca writes for Sight & Sound, introduces films at the BFI, and serves on film festival juries. Becca is a BBC New Generation Thinker 2024 with regular appearances on BBC Radio 3 and 4.

 

This talk is organized by John Williams (Professor, Dept of English Studies) and Hannah Holtzman (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts) with support from the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.


Photo: Tamura Masaki using miniature camera to film rice planting at mud level. Thanks to Markus Nornes

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