We are delighted that our newest project article, 'The Making of All That Is Buried: Dialog, Chronotope and Decoloniality' has been published Open Access by the journal Media Practice and Education here.
The article was co-written by Maire Tracey, Simon Stanton-Sharma, Sanja Nivesjö, Emma Barnes and Jade Munslow Ong, and argues for the utility of Mikhail Bakhtin’s literary theories in developing dialogic and decolonial filmmaking practices. Using the example of our research-led documentary film, All That Is Buried, we challenge traditionally hierarchical structures of film production in which primary authorship lies with the Director/Producer, by implementing dialogic methods of co-creation between filmmakers, researchers and participants. We explain how Bakhtin’s work on dialogism, chronotope, transgredience, polyphony and participative thinking provides the production and filmic tools and methods to host the distinct and equal voices of the South African creatives featured in the film - Zizipho Bam, Sindiswa Busuku, Haroon Gunn-Salie, and Dizu Plaatjies - maintaining throughout a sense of shared and equal investment in the project, and ethical responsibility to the collective. All That Is Buried shows the four participants discussing their work, ideas and experiences as they move between their homes, places of work, sites of inspiration, and artistic installation in and around Cape Town over the course of a day. In both process and product, we demonstrate how our co-creative methods support, and are supported by, practices of decolonial filmmaking, and provide a model useful and replicable for capturing Arts and Humanities research on film.
So far, All That Is Buried has screened in the UK at the nationwide Being Human Festival, the BAFTA-qualifying Bolton International Film Festival, and Earl's Court Film Festival (amongst others), and internationally at the Schreiner Karoo Writers' Festival in South Africa, and the Tangier Film Festival in Morocco.
Our team wrote the bulk of the article whilst on a 5-day writing retreat in May this year. We stayed in the Landmark Trust property Ingestre Pavilion in Staffordshire. Our retreat was funded by the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology at the University of Salford in combination with a discounted stay awarded by the Landmark Trust. Writing as part of a team was a new experience for us all, but we found it uniquely productive and enjoyable, and managed to produce a first full draft within the five days. We then spent another two months editing and proofing before submission, and were delighted to have the article accepted with minor revisions in October.
Our work together has since led to further successful bids to make two new documentary films. Simon Stanton-Sharma and Jade Munslow Ong have been awarded £3170 by the University of Salford Research Impact and Public Engagement Fund to make a short film about female e-hailing drivers in Johannesburg in January 2024; and Maire Tracey led a successful application to the Landmark Futures scheme to make a short documentary about the history and legacies of Astley Castle with Simon Stanton-Sharma, Liza Ryan, Emma Barnes, Sanja Nivesjö and Jade Munslow Ong. We're looking forward to further developing our interdisciplinary ways of working as part of both of these projects.