Media Dissertation

Media Dissertation-63
In both practice and study, we ignore the visual thing before us, and instead look through typography at its linguistic, social, and symbolic functions.

In both practice and study, we ignore the visual thing before us, and instead look through typography at its linguistic, social, and symbolic functions.

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Many former students have now spoken out about the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that took place at the schools.

The IRS system is now recognized as one of the major factors in the attempted destruction of Aboriginal cultures, languages and communities in Canada.

In contrast, I maintain that it is shape that most notably set the typographical medium apart from handwriting, and also that that which is essential to typography is its visuality, not the linguistic function to which it is often put.

The motivation for this project is epistemological.

French anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch made over 100 films throughout his long career, the bulk of which were recorded in West Africa.

Founder of the cinéma-vérité movement and pioneer of techniques like 'shared anthropology' and 'ethno-fiction,' Rouch used the medium of film to stimulate new ways of thinking about anthropological knowledge, cross-cultural encounters, and the apparent fixity of social roles in the (post)colonial world order.And in spite of Rouch's efforts to use film as a means to transform anthropology into a more collaborative and dialogic undertaking, many African filmmakers accused Rouch of having an imperialist vision of his African subjects.Rouch was also criticized - and not only by Africans - for his aversion towards politics and for what some perceived as a tendency to avoid political controversy in his films.In light of this, I argue that Rouch's story needs to be retold, as one that is not altogether unique, or even specifically French, but rather, as part of a narrative about Franco-African (post)colonial history.Unpacking this history helps to resituate Rouch's film work as part of a larger discussion about the complexities of the (post)colonial encounter, and about the role that visual artifacts can play in helping contemporary thinkers work through those complexities.This dissertation examines the evolution of Rouch's filmmaking practice, looking, in particular, at the role that French imperial culture and the colonial situation played in shaping his ideas about both anthropology and film.Rouch's life and work took shape in dialogue with both France's imperial project and West Africa's struggle for independence from (neo)colonial power.It explores how the structure of typography influences the structures of our daily thought.However, typography makes this structural analysis challenging, because of an inherent tension between typography's visuality and function--when we read type we most often fail to see type.To discuss these three themes, I focus on the cultural dynamics and various mediated forms (performance, photography, artwork) involved in the representation of the Indian Residential School legacy.My project seeks to understand the normative orders of remembrance as dictated through the IRS TRC, and the ways in which individuals and communities take up/negotiate/and push back against these imperatives.

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