University of Cape Town -HUMA and Anthropology Screening

My friend and colleague, Fiona Ross, of the University of Cape Town's  (UCT) Department of Social Anthropology (where I am an Honorary Research Associate) did all the work in making this screening possible in the newly constituted Humanities Centre.

I owe many thanks to UCT.,  and the dept of social anthropology, for the support I received in the making of Sathima's Windsong. My good friend Susan Levine, also of the Anthropology Dept, has been key  -not only in material support but in allowing me to draw on her own skills and to pick her  visual anthropologist brains. Susan was one of four friends who watched the first-cut of the film -Patricia Hayse, Ciraj Razool and Shaun Viljoen, being the others.  She and the Dept Chair, at the time, together with Lesley Green, made it possible for me to borrow one of the department's camcorders to shoot the scenes from the boat on my way to and from St Helena. The film was one of the projects that I took on in the course of my sabbatical year (2008-09)  spent at UCT. Sidney Francis of the tech support unit virtually turned my office there into an editing suite when Doug Campbell came down to Cape Town to begin the editing process. . . so this screening was again another 'thank you' moment.

A few days before this screening I gave a lecture in a  third-year course on Ethnography. For that I showed the first ten minutes of the film to get at a couple of ideas that we then explored together: the idea of 'tidalectics' and the notion of thinking with the sea; the idea of multi-place ethnography using the example of this work moving back-and-forth between two cities -Cape Town and New York.

The day after the HUMA screening I spent time in Susan's Visual Anthropology Class. In both these classes, I was again struck by the depth and breath of engagement -all kinds of challenging questions!

The seeds of this project on Sathima were first discovered and planted when I was on sabbatical leave in Cape Town in 2001, so there is something special about this project reaching fruition in Cape Town during my second sabbatical period and the subsequent conversations there since.

one of Doug's pics of UCT
view from my office-come-edit suite
university avenue -another one of Doug's pics
the iconic Jamie Hall and steps