This was my first attempt at the task ‘Photographing the face’ now looking back I wish I had put more thought into the idea after comparing it to other peoples work I could have been more creative.
Culture is the main theme of my video. I tried to represent this idea throughout the whole shot, it starts with a bit of shake and I made an active decision not to cut it out because it emphasises the home feel.
My mother was preparing for a wedding, at Eritrean/Ethiopian wedding’s its custom to wear a white headscarf. A simple accessory of the scarf indicates to the audience where the subject is from without even using any words.
It starts in black and white and slowly transitions to colour, my reasoning for this is to articulate my point of having a very rich culture. When you look at the poster at the back the paint on the different tribes in Eritrea looks beautiful, according to Eritrea’s ministry of information there is a total of nine ethnic groups including ‘Tigrinya, Saho, Bilen, Hidarb, Rashaida, Kunama, Nara, Tigre and Afar’ who all have different beliefs and customs but are still able to come together as one, so imagine how diverse Africa is. I have a strong love for east Africa in general, even though I am not in the video itself it is still revealing my character.
The plan was for my Mother to act natural but some Tigrinya music was playing in the background so she asked me if she could dance. It’s something about the drums that my mum can not refrain to dance. As Eritrea is quite a young country most of the music is focused on the war ‘Some new artists in postliberation Eritrea are emerging, however, with an artistic focus on the country’s struggle for independence.’. The people have a certain pride which includes my mum, especially because the fight is so fresh in people’s memories, loads of lives sacrificed including my mum’s father and many of her siblings.I Thought the spontaneity was kind of cool so I didn’t take a second take. However, now wish I did because people put more time and effort on the look they wanted to go for, it just inspired me to think of a unique style to develop for myself, something that makes my work special.
‘Music has always played a pivotal role in Eritrea. It mobilised people during the 30-year war of independence from Ethiopia’
Music gave people hope, it’s probably the reason why Eritrea was so successful in gaining independence, ‘Music also gave the EPLF a tool to inspire and recruit young people in the fight against Ethiopia, and a number of rebel fighters went on to become music stars after independence.’ These musicians started a revolution, it united the population and many of these singers are looked upon as heroes because many of the pioneers were freedom fighters too.
I Thought the spontaneity was kind of cool so I didn’t take a second take. However, now wish I did because people put more creativity on the look they wanted to go for, it just inspired me to think of a unique style to develop for myself, something that makes my work special.
For example maybe next time I could project images and clips of the war and see my mother’s reaction to it because it was obviously an emotional time. Also visually would look more interesting especially as the task is only meant to be one shot. The Weeknd’s Often music video has inspired me to be more inventive in the future.
Although it isn’t only one shot, it is made to look like it is, it’s strikingly stimulating and engaging.The director Sam pilling has a quite dark re-occurring feel in all his videos but they are all still quite different from each other. His shots are always cinematic and intriguing that’s why in my shot of my Mum I used a slider for a subtle effect to also give it a more polished feel but because I was moving it so slow you probably wouldn’t be able to tell so in that aspect ineffective in achieving what I wanted.
Either way, it is a learning curve, in future I will take more time experimenting with ideas and increasing the amount of takes so that I have a variety of work to pick from.
shabait Administrator. (2014). Eritrea’s 9 ethnic groups. Available: http://www.shabait.com/about-eritrea/erina/16508-eritreas-9-ethnic-groups. Last accessed 8th DEC 2016.
K JETIL T RONVOLL. (2007). Countries and their cultures. Available: http://www.everyculture.com/Cr-Ga/Eritrea.html. Last accessed 2016.
Ismail Einashe. (2015). A history of Eritrean music, from revolutionary funk to viral pop. Available: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/19/eritrea-music-history-eplf-youtube-viral-pop. Last accessed 2016
imvdb. (August 21, 2014). Often (2014) . Available: https://imvdb.com/video/the-weeknd/often. Last accessed 2016.