WIP Tender Burial, 16mm film transferred to video 2023 - present

An unknown narrator engages in processes of excavating, burying, making and learning in Tender Burial, a 16-mm film-essay-poem. 

The production of a facsimile leads the protagonist to a local ancient headland. Adopting archeological and trans-anthropological* tools, language and methodologies, the film traces the history of two women, who possibly lived at the same time (around 700BCE) whose remains were excavated in the late 19th and early 20th Century, displaced from their rightful burial grounds and ultimately displayed within museum collections a few miles from one another. Small fragments of their stories are shared and entwined by the narrator, who considers ongoing colonial legacies and questions the politics of replication, extraction, representation and restitution.

 

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*Trans-anthropological meaning: 'the frictions and dynamics that arise when people are grappling with the what, where and how of anthropology. It also encompasses the ways in which anthropological knowledge is produced, analysed and presented - its styles of authorship, universality, and authority - as well as the problematisation of what falls within the legitimate remit of its subjects and objects of analysis. It speaks, thus, to the contestation and rethinking - predominantly museums, collections, archives and university institutes or departments - associated with anthropology.' (Von Oswald & Tinius, 2020, p.22)

 

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Emily Hawes ©