Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS

By Sandra Wallman | Go to book overview

Eleven
Community Life
II

Participants' Views (The video project)

SOLVEIG FREUDENTHAL

This chapter's most obvious purpose is to show Kamwokya as the people who live there see it. In this sense it adds a dimension to the story accumulated so far, and serves as a direct complement to Chapter 4. But other things are happening here at the same time.

First. in documenting the production of a video film of, by, and for the people of Kamwokya (as well as for the health research project), this piece also shows the community deciding which image of itself is best suited to which audiencedemonstrating both its familiarity with 'development rhetoric'. and the double bind of aid supplicants who must show the right balance of need and independence of need in order to be 'worthy of aid:'.

Second, the process of visualizing events and items necessary before and (repeatedly) after videotaping re-presents eveyday realities in non-normal ways. It alters the perspective on the subjects in view willy-nilly, shifting them from back to front stage (or vice versa), and not always in line with the intensions or explicit purposes of those directing the film.

Third, in this chapter these processes combine to reveal local attitudes to responsibility for local problems — notably for the very poor quality of environmental 'wellbeing' which would not otherwise have been articulated. In effect, the making of the video produced new data on Kamwokya which are not recorded in the video film itself.


Introduction

The recent development of low-cost, portable, user-friendly video equipment has made it possible for ordinary people to produce and view their own video films. They now have a chance to tell their stories the way they want to tell them, for whatever purpose and for whatever audience they want. The ethnographic filmmaker, Jean Rouch, envisaged this development in the early 1970s:

And tomorrow? Tomorrow will be the day of the self-regulating colour videotape, of automatic video editing, of 'instant replay' of the recorded picture ... a mechanical 'cine-

-206-

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Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Photographs, Sketches, Maps & Figures viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Notes on Contributors x
  • One - Introduction 1
  • Two - Kamwokya 17
  • Three - People in Place 47
  • Four - Community Life 73
  • Five - Household Wellbeing 90
  • Six - Treatment Options 111
  • Seven - Home Treatment 142
  • Eight - Children's Illnesses 152
  • Nine - Private Disease 166
  • Ten - Six Women 189
  • Eleven - Community Life II 206
  • Twelve - Summary & Conclusions 226
  • References 236
  • Index 241
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