Diasporic Film in Communities


Resource authors: Sarita Malik
Project: Diasporic film in communities: A scoping study of the relationship between screen culture, stakeholders and communities

The Diasporic Film in Communities project set out to critically examine the role of Diasporic film culture in Diasporic communities. A case study approach was used to explore how three postcolonial publics (African-Caribbean, Chinese and South Asian) mobilise around film, interface with cultural organisations and reflect on their significance as film communities. A range of collaborative activities were held in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), including participatory screenings, networking events and a final research seminar. The primary data collection included interviews, focus groups with Diasporic cinema audiences and an observation of the BFI’s Diasporic film programme for which it depends on a community ‘collaborative programming strategy’. Three main findings emerged in the research. First, film contributes to strong feelings of cultural and group identity in various shifting local and global contexts. Second, in spite of the differentiated Diasporic social histories explicated in the research process, issues of race, culture and power are pervasive in how the role of Diasporic cinema is discussed across groups. And third, there is a clear discourse of interdependency between cultural organisations and community partners; this is seen to raise critical dilemmas regarding the politics of cultural programming.

Go to resource