Locating a ‘third voice’: participatory filmmaking and the everyday in rural India<sup>1</sup>

Authors: Sudbury, S.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/25002/

Journal: Journal of Media Practice

Pages: 1-19

ISSN: 2040-0926

DOI: 10.1080/14682753.2016.1248191

This article reflects on practice-led research involving a community video project in southern India. The filmmaker also asked four of the women in this project if they would use their cameras to film their everyday lives. In the early 1980s, Barbara Myerhoff mentioned in a conference panel session the concept of a ‘third voice’ created through participatory research, when the ethnographer’s and the subjects’ contributions are edited together in such a way to form a new perspective [Kaminsky, M. 1992. “Myerhoff’s ‘Third Voice’: Ideology and Genre in Ethnographic Narrative.” Social Text 33: 124–144 (127)]. In this article, the filmmaker discusses how she used participatory and observational documentary techniques and ‘video diary interviews’, to produce five different sources of footage ‘blended in such a manner as to make it impossible to discern which voice dominates the work…films where outsider and insider visions coalesce’ [Ruby, J. 1991. “Speaking for, Speaking About, Speaking With, or Speaking Alongside: an Anthropological and Documentary Dilemma.” Visual Anthropology Review 7 (2): 50–67 (62)]. This article examines the challenges of working in this way and considers whether this technique of filmmaking can reveal new knowledge about the everyday lives of four particular women living in rural Andhra Pradesh.

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Authors: Sudbury, S.

http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/25002/

Journal: Journal of Media Practice

Volume: 17

Issue: 2-3

Pages: 213-231

eISSN: 2040-0926

ISSN: 1468-2753

DOI: 10.1080/14682753.2016.1248191

© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This 1article reflects on practice-led research involving a community video project in southern India. The filmmaker also asked four of the women in this project if they would use their cameras to film their everyday lives. In the early 1980s, Barbara Myerhoff mentioned in a conference panel session the concept of a ‘third voice’ created through participatory research, when the ethnographer’s and the subjects’ contributions are edited together in such a way to form a new perspective [Kaminsky, M. 1992. “Myerhoff’s ‘Third Voice’: Ideology and Genre in Ethnographic Narrative.” Social Text 33: 124–144 (127)]. In this article, the filmmaker discusses how she used participatory and observational documentary techniques and ‘video diary interviews’, to produce five different sources of footage ‘blended in such a manner as to make it impossible to discern which voice dominates the work … films where outsider and insider visions coalesce’ [Ruby, J. 1991. “Speaking for, Speaking About, Speaking With, or Speaking Alongside: an Anthropological and Documentary Dilemma.” Visual Anthropology Review 7 (2): 50–67 (62)]. This article examines the challenges of working in this way and considers whether this technique of filmmaking can reveal new knowledge about the everyday lives of four particular women living in rural Andhra Pradesh.

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