Indigenous Filmmaking with Mainstream Ambitions

By: Agata Lulkowska  

This paper analyzes the emerging trend of transcending the limitations of so-called indigenous cinema in the attempt to reach much wider audiences within the mainstream circles. Using the case study of the Arhuaco filmmakers from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, I demonstrate how the filmmaking practice, which was initiated by non-artistic ambitions of giving the evidence of violence and repression in the region, become a very effective tool to reach intercultural communication. The ethnographic methods applied in this research draw on my extensive fieldwork with the Arhuacos which resulted in the production of a collaborative documentary focusing on their filmmaking. The implication of this investigation is the realisation of the universal and intercultural value of film as a form of intercultural communication, as well as a reflection on the possibility to break the long-established boundaries between mainstream and indigenous cinema and also film as an artistic expression versus film as a very effective communication tool.

"Intercultural Communication", " Indigenous Film", " Politics of Representations"
Media Literacies
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Agata Lulkowska

-, -, Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom
London, United Kingdom

Researcher, photographer, multimedia artist, and passionate traveller. Agata Lulkowska is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck, finalising her practice-based research exploring the politics of visual representations among the indigenous communities of Colombia. She holds a Master Degree in Film and Media Studies (Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland), unfinished MA in Film Direction (Silesian University, Katowice, Poland), and a First Class Honours degree in Digital Media Arts (London South Bank University). Alongside with her research work, she actively exhibits her visual work in wide international circles. Lulkowska's research is very interdisciplinary and addresses questions of representation, otherness and intercultural communication. She is particularly interested in the way film and video circulate in the international circles, and how the aspect of communication transcends the cultural barriers.