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Media Studies

Mar Aberto

Christopher Richard Gomes ('09), Maria Donapetry

This summer I observed artisan fishing in Viveiro, Spain from a cultural and artistic perspective. I have produced a short film that explores the daily life of the fisherman and his local relevance. Additionally, I helped Professor Maria Donapetry prepare a photo exhibition entitled “Celeiro a Mar Aberto” to share ideas about representation of the sea. In going on a day-long fishing trip, visiting the local fish market and getting to know the fishermen, I’ve observed the persistence of artisan fishing among a trade heading towards industrialization. A fusion of religion and tradition is ingrained in their demanding and dangerous careers at sea. I owe the quality of my experience and my film to Professor Donapetry and to the many people I befriended in Galicia. Personal contacts, interviews, and casual conversations over coffee have galvanized this project. I hadn’t expected to become integrated with the people of Viveiro beyond my role as foreign cameraman. Yet after a short time my relationships with the people, land, and sea helped me gain insight into myself, my family, and my Catholic upbringing. I hope my film exhibits my gratitude for this experience and my profound appreciation for the devotion of the artisan fisherman.
Funding provided by: SURP (Stonehill)

Asian American Independent Cinema Since 1970: Shift from Identity Politics to Cross-Cultural Stories

William Thomas Tran ('09), Ming-Yuen Ma (Pitzer)

Asian Americans involved in the Asian American Independent Film Movement (1970-1990) defined their identity according to an "about us, by us, and for us" paradigm. They produced well-rounded portrayals of Asian Americans distinct from the one-dimensional stereotypes (Fu Manchu, Dragon Ladies) present within mainstream media. The movement's reform-minded nature fueled a progressive Asian American cinema that sought to eliminate racial barriers and these representations. The participants' struggles were encapsulated in the anthology Moving the Image. How has the image moved since the movement? This study poses this question to four media workers active during and after the movement. By comparing their responses to their opinions within the anthology, this study compares the two time periods and their respective financial, social, and cultural issues. An analysis of their responses indicates that Asian American cinema now speaks to a more diverse audience. The movement's participants were largely Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino and shared common oppressive histories. Because of the diversity today, content is no longer centered on identity or marginalization. This project hopes to spotlight a sector of cinema that remains largely invisible to the public as well as contribute to studies pertaining to the contemporary definition of Asian American identity.
Funding provided by: SURP (Stonehill)

Research at Pomona