Yumi piksa : our pictures : community-responsive filmmaking as research practice

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2011
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. Access is restricted indefinitely. ----- The thesis explores the collaborative application of media and arts‐based research practices involving students from the University of Goroka (Papua New Guinea) as co‐researchers. It critically examines the processes of developing a community‐responsive approach to filmmaking in order to challenge preconceived notions of media and research practice. The design of culturally appropriate strategies is investigated concurrently with a view to building local media training and research capacity in Papua New Guinea. The thesis draws on two theoretical approaches. First, by using a Melanesian research framework of relationship, reciprocity and collective memory the project questions dichotomies of insider and outsider, researcher and researched. Second, the research situates itself methodologically in a hybrid form of artistic action research and a/r/tographic inquiry to capture the complexity of the creative process as ‘living inquiry’. These two methodological approaches are realised through the creation of a filmmaking workshop titled Yumi Piksa (Our Pictures). Reflecting on this workshop and its dynamics, the thesis consists of both written and filmic components. The filmic component includes the collaborative production of three short documentaries (Mama Bilong Down Under (13min), Levekuka Clay (13min) and Nokondi’s Morning Call (9min) and a half‐hour film about the process of the Yumi Piksa workshop. The written component of the thesis examines the theoretical underpinnings of these accomplishments. The research study found that stereotypical perceptions and understandings of Papua New Guinea communities could be challenged by respectful and community‐responsive ways of making films involving local community members. It presents filmmaking as creating a meaningful space for exploring community relations and practices. Papua New Guinean co‐researchers acted to bridge dialogue between rural communities, media technologies and the national and transnational media sphere. Arguing for the entanglement of social and cultural practices within the filmic products, this thesis presents a strong case for the use of arts-based methods in academic endeavours. It further presents a new conceptualisation of research and media practice in Papua New Guinea, creating a space for a (re)emerging indigenous research and media landscape.
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