Strangers Within: Documentary as Encounter

£15.00

ed. Therese Henningsen & Juliette Joffé

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Strangers Within is an anthology exploring the idea of documentary as encounter through essays, stories, interviews and other creative responses by filmmakers, artists, and writers. The texts engage with the risks of encounter, unsettling assumptions about the distinctions between host and guest; stranger and friend; self and other; documentarian and protagonist. Opening up a series of questions about the mystery of another person, whose difference and unknowability is already a part of one’s self, the anthology offers a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the convergences between encounter, hospitality and autobiography.

with Khalik Allah, Ruth Beckermann, Jon Bang Carlsen, Adam Christensen, Annie Ernaux, Gareth Evans, Jane Fawcett, Xiaolu Guo, Umama Hamido, Therese Henningsen, Marc Isaacs, Mary Jiménez Freeman-Morris, Juliette Joffé, Andrew and Eden Kötting, David MacDougall, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Toni Morrison, Bruno de Wachter and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.

Published 5 September and available to pre-order now.

Description

‘The foreigner is within me, hence we’re all foreigners. If we’re all foreigners, there are no foreigners.’ – Julia Kristeva

Strangers Within is an anthology exploring the idea of documentary as encounter through essays, stories, interviews and other creative responses by filmmakers, artists, and writers. The texts engage with the risks of encounter, unsettling assumptions about the distinctions between host and guest; stranger and friend; self and other; documentarian and protagonist. Opening up a series of questions about the mystery of another person, whose difference and unknowability is already a part of one’s self, the anthology offers a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the convergences between encounter, hospitality and autobiography.

Edited by Therese Henningsen & Juliette Joffé, with contributions by Khalik Allah, Ruth Beckermann, Jon Bang Carlsen, Adam Christensen, Annie Ernaux, Gareth Evans, Jane Fawcett, Xiaolu Guo, Umama Hamido, Therese Henningsen, Marc Isaacs, Mary Jiménez Freeman-Morris, Juliette Joffé, Andrew and Eden Kötting, David MacDougall, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Toni Morrison, Bruno de Wachter and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.

‘Sifting through the pages of this precious book is like walking on the beaches of Agnès Varda: we gather a myriad of lustrous images, of encounters, memories, films. We stumble upon correspondences, connect the dots of the unvoiced dialogue among its authors – touching on identity and strangeness, method and poetics, documentary and auto/biography. What Strangers Within so admirably advocates is the absolute necessity of a cinema of the first-person. Its greatest achievement is to redefine this as a cinema of risk- taking, open to the stranger, a generator of the encounter: as a truly hospitable cinema.’

– Professor Laura Rascaroli (University College Cork)

Strangers Within is a wonderful gathering, a beautifully cadenced set of essays in which a stellar cast of free-spirited independent filmmakers discuss the art, philosophy and politics of representing other people in documentary practice. Happily they show how the very idea of ‘other people’ is absurd: the subjects of documentaries, like their makers, are elusive, mysterious, changing, full of contradictions. What emerges is a vision of non-fiction cinema as a contact zone, a travelling space of fertile estrangement and entanglement, a commitment to deep and experimental listening.’

– Sukhdev Sandhu, Director of the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture, New York University

 

Read a sample:

Strangers Within_web sample

This book has been generously supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, Flanders Literature and the Humanities and Arts Research Institute (HARI) at Royal Holloway, University of London.