Author:

Jessica Jacobs


Title:

Visualising the Past, Rebranding the Present III: Signs of the Time


Year of production:

2009-10


Video length:

02:21 minutes



Description:

The following films were created from 100 inteviews with heritage ‘ stakeholders’s in Amman and Damascus in 2009-10 for an ESRC-funded research project examining the colonial modernities of the two cities. Each film covers a different theme of the relationship between cultural identity and heritage tourism and is edited using a different filmic style in order to examine how the way we produce knowledge affects the knowledge that is produced. In this way I aimed to show how filmmaking as a form of ethnography can help us do the following:
1. Reflect back on our research methods as researchers and how the methods we choose influence the knowledge we produce
2. Interrogate the mechanisms of representation within contemporary heritage discourse from the position of the knowledge producer and the intended audience.

III. Signs of the Time – An exploration of the relationship between word, sound, image and text using still images, a split screen and a music soundtrack. The only words come from signage describing hotels, bars, cafes effectively mapping the tourist landscape. The soundtrack – a recording of a men singing at a wedding in Damascus – is taken from the same place the signs describe but recorded on a different occasion and connected via the editing process.