July 2019 4-day workshop on
Using Film to Explore how we can Decolonise our Universities
In July 2019 FilmGeographies organised a four day film-making workshop with Dr Ruqiyabi ‘Naz’ Awan (RAFA2 Lead at QMUL). Re-imagining Attainment For All 2 (RAFA 2) is a student-led initiative focusing upon the process of academic assessment in higher education with the aim of critically analysing and addressing the attainment gap between black/African/Caribbean/black British, and white students.
The premise of the workshop was ‘Film and Video for Change’ and our remit was to explore the causes and affects of the ‘attainment gap’ in Higher Education.
What is the ‘attainment gap’?
The term really applies to an achievement gap which is a significant and persistent disparity in academic performance or educational attainment between different groups of students, such as white students and minorities, for example, or students from higher-income and lower-income backgrounds. In this case the attainment gap in focus was that between white students and students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.
We worked with the students over four days to help them develop their stories, decide on the film format before shooting and editing their short films.
Organisers Dr Marilyn Holness and Dr Ruqiyabi Awan concluded that ‘The use of video as a means to explore academic content proved a successful tool for providing the creators with greater autonomy in the visualisation and telling of the evidence and data on the attainment gap.’
Dr Holness and Awan suggest organising screenings of these films to hlep ‘promote self-reflection and/or to stimulate discussion within teams.’ They found it helpful to consider “how would we respond to the issues raised if it were bought to our attention by a student?” They feel this helps us to consider “Do the students that I teach think/feel like this?” And “what does that mean for how I approach my teaching?” You can watch these films on the RAFA 2 website, link below.
Video Mapping & Storytelling workshop
Zeitgeist Art Center New Orleans
Friday 13th April 2018
The workshop focused on how critical video mapping can be used a community engagement device and decision-making tool using methods applied by filmmaker and geographer Jessica Jacobs for the British Academy funded project ‘A Different Sense of Space: How Bedouins Mapped the Sinai’.
Using a base map of cities including New Orleans we created icons inspired by significant events and people in order to develop ways in which mapping can be used with film to situate stories of social justice in place.
Funded by the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London.