Welcome to ViewFinder Issue 114: Decolonising
Tackling a subject as big as ‘decolonising’ was always going to prove a tough task, but with added Covid-19 mayhem it’s been a bit trickier. This term’s issue is ever so slightly reduced (in terms of amount of content) and ever so slightly late (in terms of when it should be published). However, the nine essays in ViewFinder 114 are wonderfully wide-ranging and provide much food for thought on how we move forward and build our new future, post-corona.
I chose the theme ‘decolonising’ because it is one that has been knocking at the academic door for a while. Much of the recent work of decolonising curricula has been in history, literature and the sciences, but I could find little on film and media. I hope, therefore, that this issue adds much to the conversation and inspires reflection. I have certainly learned a great deal from editing this issue.
Highlights from Issue 114 include “Being Seen” by Sharon Coleclough on teaching student cinematographers how to light darker skin tones, ‘Absent African Epics’ by Michel Wahome explores why African epic tales have never made it to Western screens, Lindiwe Dovey and Michael W. Thomas discuss their five-year, European Research Council-funded project “Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies”. Jennifer Good’s “Critical Paralysis” looks at how understanding the colonial history of photography and the western gaze can ‘paralyse’ photography students how are forced to confront uncomfortable truths. In “New Kings of the World: Dispatches from Bollywood, Dizi and K-pop: Fatima Bhutto, filmmaker Meghna Gupta takes a deep dive into Bhutto’s incendiary and inspiring look at visual storytelling that is cross pollinating the global south. We also have two wonderful video-essays on reggae and sound system culture in the UK by Roy Wallace and Daniel Johnson, the first time we've published an audio-visual essay in ViewFinder!
All this and more in issue 114 of ViewFinder...
Kit Caless, Learning on Screen