Indigenising research through a/r/tography: A case study of a collaborative filmmaking project in Papua New Guinea

Thomas, Verena (2013) Indigenising research through a/r/tography: A case study of a collaborative filmmaking project in Papua New Guinea. UNESCO Observatory E-Journal Multi-Disciplinary Research in the Arts, 3(1), pp. 1-14.

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This paper examines the use of a/r/tographic methodologies within the context of an indigenous research approach in the South Pacific nation of Papua New Guinea. The visual arts have played a prominent role in Papua New Guinea’s cultural history. They have served social functions of establishing and expressing community relations and of collective decision-making processes. In the West however, Papua New Guinea art has been interpreted differently. Its social function is often ignored, removing objects from their context. Similarly, research in PNG, impacted by the introduction of an Anglo-European educational model during the time of colonization, has lacked engagement with artistic forms of knowing and learning.

Through the case study of a filmmaking workshop with teaching students in their roles as artists/researchers/teachers, I will explore how artistic process can enhance the way research is undertaken with Papua New Guinean communities. A Melanesian way of filmmaking is proposed and explored, while examining values of relationships, reciprocity and collective memory. These values are played out in the collaborations of artists and their relations with members of the participating communities.

The paper proposes a/r/tographic research as a way to de-westernise research methods, and to engage in a process that gives voice to indigenous communities. Student researchers/artists are engaged in producing artistic collaborations that reflect Papua New Guinean community life. The documentary films produced through the project counter dominant representations of Papua New Guinean rural communities and propose new ways of thinking about how research is undertaken in Melanesia.

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ID Code: 99667
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: trust, creative process, a/r/tography, pre-service teachers, confidence, aesthetic experience
ISSN: 1835-2766
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Film and Television (190204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 The University of Melbourne
Deposited On: 11 Oct 2016 23:14
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2016 05:08

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