Arts & International Affairs: Volume 3, Issue 1, Spring 2018 - Page 36

ARTS & INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Global Cultural Fellows Programme by Guy Gotto (password: aia37) In addition, documentarian Guy Gotto has prepared a short film to accompany each day’s discussions among the Fellows. These films are also published below for pedagogic purposes. The following multimodal entries for each day reproduce three things: (1) theme descriptions in italics; (2) IICR blog entries for each day, and (3) documentary films from each day. The entries are preceded by a short reflection from Guy Gotto on the ethnography of capturing participatory deliberations through visual media. Reflections from a Documentarian on Creative Social Engagement By Guy Gotto As a practicing filmmaker, and particularly in my experience with documentary, I have learnt the importance of being engaged and present, even when the camera is not rolling. This enables additional information to be gleaned about the subjects (which I am able to incorporate into my work) and also helps to blur the line between what is and is not being documented. As such, subjects feel less self-conscious (or performative) when the camera is recording, leading to a more naturalistic style of filmmaking. These experienc- es have changed my own behaviour, and this has been crucial for how I documented the IICR Global Cultural Fellows programme. Preparation for a large project with uncertain results means taking the time to research an organisation and understand its overall aims and objectives, along with the individ- uals involved. I endeavour to obtain a clear view of the organisation that I am working with in order to gain an understanding of its public-facing identity. From this, I am able to garner two key pieces of information: how the organisation wants to be perceived; and how I, as an autonomous observer, perceive the organisation. These jumping off points will eventually lead the narrative I construct. A lens is trained on you; you pose for the picture. You change how you physically present yourself for others to see. With cameras being such an intrinsic part of contemporary society, it has become a motor reflex to be aware of a camera in the room, extending the cognitive function of gaze detection. The observer effect in physics, a theory that postu- lates that the simple observation of a phenomenon necessarily changes that phenome- 36