Home / Communiversity: Filmmaking/Researching With And About Humanitarian Interpreters In Kakuma Refugee Camp
Thursday, March 31, 2022
8:00 am – 10:00 am EDT/GMT-4
The CommUniversity 2022 workshop series, organized by OSUN and the Talloires Network, showcases university civic engagement approaches (frameworks, strategies, methods, and practices) that have been shown to produce favorable results and that represent a standard suitable for adoption or adaptation.
These presentations are meant to prepare graduate students and faculty to apply for OSUN Engaged Research Funds, which support research tied to long-term, sustainable community partnerships. Join this important discussion with Laura Kunreuther, Professor of Anthropology, Bard College, and colleagues, who will discuss a year-long ethnographic research project about interpreting in the humanitarian context of Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.
The research was designed to answer the following questions: What is entailed, materially and affectively, in standing between the UN field officer and the local source, speaking in two voices at once, neither of which is “one's own”? What happens, subjectively, when the medium for circulating the voices of so-called "global citizens" is another human being whose labor is often imagined as the output of a machine? What kinds of training programs (if any) have been developed for interpreters within the field, and how is interpreting work imagined by other professional staff in global organizations? At its broadest level, the research explores historical and cultural connections between the invisibility of field interpreters' labor and the bureaucratic ideals of transparency and global citizenship, asking how these ideals are embodied, or not, in the day-to-day work of UN missions.
Transformed into a virtual mode of ethnography due to the pandemic, the research was conducted with a team of humanitarian interpreters who were inspired to convert findings and research into a narrative film. The interpreters applied to and received their own funding through OSUN to cover the costs of learning filmmaking and producing the film. They then drew on collective research as the interpreters learned the skills of filmmaking to write and create a film that fictionally portrays the daily life of interpreters in the camp. The film is currently in the production stage and is called "The Bridge." This workshop will discuss the evolution of this project as it evolved from a traditional academic research project to a collective community project of self-representation.
Kamoso Jean Bertrand, Research Collaborator and Director of The Bridge
Adam Mohamad Bashar, Research Collaborator and Cinematographer of The Bridge
Majuto Niyonzima Chouchou, Research Collaborator and Main Protagonist of The Bridge
Mulki Mohamed Ali, Research Collaborator and Sound Recorder of The Bridge
Other workshops in the series feature leaders in the field of university civic engagement and run each month from February 2022 through July 2022, highlighting innovative community-university research in communities in the United States, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Uganda, Ghana, and Austria.
Learn more about the Engaged Research Fund grants here.
Learn more details about the workshops here.
For more information or questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.