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Which clippings match 'Truth' keyword pg.4 of 6
15 DECEMBER 2008

Robert J. Flaherty: How I Filmed Nanook of the North

"New forms of travel film were coming out and the Johnson South Sea Island film particularly seemed to me to be an earnest of what might be done in the North. I began to believe that a good film depicting the Eskimo and his fight for existence in the dramatically barren North might be well worth while. To make a long story short, I decided to go north again– this time wholly for the purpose of making films."
(Robert J. Flaherty, 1922)

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TAGS

1922Alaska Native peopleconstructed realitydiscoverydocu-dramadocumentary filmenvironment • Eskimo • ethnographic filmfilmfilm-maker • igloo • IndigenousInuit • Nanook of the North • naturepioneer • Robert J. Flaherty • spectacle • travel film • truth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
21 NOVEMBER 2008

Cultural uses of media technology by Inuit artists

"Isuma's films and videos are always based on oral history of the community elders. In the case of The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, the film's storyline is based on the events recounted in Rasmussen's writings, but as the film's co–director Norman Cohn asserts, 'Those events are interpreted through an Inuit point of view ... Like looking at your reflection in the window and seeing through to the other side of the window pane'(Norman Cohn, Secretary–Treasurer, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Montreal, personal communication, October 31, 2004).

Stephen Muecke, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Technology in Sydney, has written a great deal about how the form of discourse shapes our understanding of Aboriginal history: 'The main problem for Aboriginal History, as I see it, is to authenticate the appropriate discourse for its transmission. At the moment the 'authentic' accounts of Aboriginal history are firmly locked in academic standard English' (1983). Isuma's unique style of docu–drama counters this privileging of the written word penned by Europeans as the 'authentic,' 'true' historical record.

The films do this by appropriating communication tools to transmit an audiovisual form of Inuit oral history and storytelling to a hybrid audience: Isuma's primary goal is to delight other Inuit, and its secondary goal is to connect with a global media audience. Indeed, Cohn argues that '[Inuit] storytelling as an oral form is most compatible in contemporary form with film–making or theatre' (quoted in Wachowich, 1997a)."

(Katarina Soukup)

‘Travelling in Layers: Inuit Artists Appropriate New Technologies’ in the Canadian Journal of Communications, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2006). pp 239–246.)

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TAGS

Aboriginal • Aboriginal history • authenticitycultural codesdocu-dramadramafilmfilm-makinghistorical record • Igloolik Isuma Productions • Indigenous • Indigenous perspectives • Inuit • Inuit oral history • Katarina Soukup • mediaMontreal • Nancy Wachowich • narrative • Norman Cohn • oral historysocial constructionism • Stephen Muecke • storytelling • The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006) • theatretraditiontruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 NOVEMBER 2008

Language may shape human thought

"Hunter–gatherers from the Pirahã tribe, whose language only contains words for the numbers one and two, were unable to reliably tell the difference between four objects placed in a row and five in the same configuration, revealed the study.

Experts agree that the startling result provides the strongest support yet for the controversial hypothesis that the language available to humans defines our thoughts. So–called 'linguistic determinism' was first proposed in 1950 but has been hotly debated ever since.

'It is a very surprising and very important result,' says Lisa Feigenson, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, US, who has tested babies' abilities to distinguish between different numerical quantities. 'Whether language actually allows you to have new thoughts is a very controversial issue.'
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Gordon says this is the first convincing evidence that a language lacking words for certain concepts could actually prevent speakers of the language from understanding those concepts.

Science Express (19 August 2004/ Page 1/ 10.1126/science.1094492)"
(Celeste Biever)

[this adds weight to the social constructionist notion that reality is formed through our use of language (not that language is merely an impartial carrier of information)]

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TAGS

Brazilconceptualisation • counting • culturehabits of mind • Hiaitiihi • hunter-gatherers • knowledgelanguagelanguage habits • linguistic determinism • linguisticsmathematicsNew Scientist • numbers • numeracy • Pirahã • social constructionismthoughttribetruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 OCTOBER 2008

Jean-François Lyotard: Legitimation of knowledge by performativity terrorises the production of ideas

"Lyotard argues that legitimation by performativity is against the interests of research. He does not claim that research should be aimed at production of 'the truth'; he does not try to re–invoke the metanarratives of modernity to legitimate research. Rather, he sees the role of research as the production of ideas. Legitimation of knowledge by performativity terrorises the production of ideas. What, then, is the alternative? Lyotard proposes that a better form of legitimation would be legitimation by paralogy. The etymology of this word resides in the Greek words para – beside, past, beyond – and logos in its sense as 'reason.' Thus paralogy is the movement beyond or against reason. Lyotard sees reason not as a universal and immutable human faculty or principle but as a specific and variable human production; 'paralogy' for him means the movement against an established way of reasoning. In relation to research, this means the production of new ideas by going against or outside of established norms, of making new moves in language games, changing the rules of language games and inventing new games. Lyotard argues that this is in fact what takes place in scientific research, despite the imposition of the performativity criterion of legitimation. This is particularly evident in what Lyotard calls 'postmodern science' – the search for instabilities. For Lyotard, knowledge is not only the known but also the 'revelation' or 'articulation' of the unknown. Thus he advocates the legitimation of knowledge by paralogy as a form of legitimation that would satisfy both the desire for justice and the desire for the unknown."

(Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
19 MAY 2008

Narrative is a fundamental means through which people live their lives

"Narrative is a fundamental means through which people experience their lives, or through which they actually live their lives. It is the narratives in which we situate our experience. Human experience is always narrated, and human knowledge and personal identities are constructed and revised through intersubjectively shared narratives. The narrative is a primary act of mind; "the primary scheme by which human existence is rendered meaningful" (Polkinghorne 1988, 11). The reflexive project of knowing and achieving an identity is to sustain a coherent, yet continuously revised, narrative about ourselves and the world we live in."
(H.L.T. Heikkinen, R. Huttunen & L. Kakkori)

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TAGS

coherent • constructed realityexperiencefictionhistorynarrative • Polkinghorne • realityrevisionismstorytruth

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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