University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > Children as Observational Filmmakers Childhood and Modernity: Indian Children’s Perspectives

Children as Observational Filmmakers Childhood and Modernity: Indian Children’s Perspectives

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucian Stephenson.

Observational filmmaking is a research methodology originating in social anthropology. It presents a challenge and an opportunity for education researchers who use video. This is an opportunity to hear one of the world’s leading ethnographic filmmakers discuss his most recent research project, in which 10 and 11-year-old children shot observational film about their experiences.

Childhood and Modernity: Indian Children’s Perspectives is a five-year project conducted by David MacDougall that encourages Indian children to explore their surroundings using video cameras. Unlike many video projects designed to address children’s problems, the aim here is different: to see what children can teach us about their society from their unique position as children. It has been inspired by recent efforts in the social sciences to treat children not as objects of research but as active collaborators and contributors to new knowledge, often on subjects they know better than adults. In discussing the project, MacDougall will present several short films made by eleven-year-old children in Rajasthan, New Delhi and Ladakh. The pedagogy MacDougall uses to introduce children to observational filmmaking practice, together with his approach to collaborative participant research with children will be of interest to all education researchers who use video cameras in a school or family context.

The New Boys: A screening of The New Boys, the fourth in MacDougall’s ground breaking Doon School film series will follow for all at Babbage Theatre in the new David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, Cambridge starting at 2.15pm. MacDougall comments, “An important feature of the film are the conversations among the boys about the causes of aggression and warfare, homesickness, restaurant food, and how to speak to a ghost”.

All welcome!

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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