CCCI Lecture Series: Filmmakers from The Memory Project at Caochangdi Workstation in Beijing - "Knocking on Memory's Door with a Video Camera"
November 7, 2016
We are walking down Memory Lane. We are continuing to remember.
CCD Workstation began the Folk Memory Documentary Project in 2010. More than twenty participants travelled back to their family villages to film and interview village elders. Their research focused on the years from 1959 to 1961, a period known as the Great Chinese Famine.
A handful of people took video cameras and went back to their respective villages. They went in search of the old generation that was still living there in dim, stark houses. They went to uncover the memories hidden deep inside them. Each filmmaker had some prior relationship to the village. Some of them were born or grew up there, some still live there, some had never lived in the village but had parents or grandparents who had. For the old people in the village, this was the first time anyone had come with a camera to ask them to open their memory chests. Here was the younger generation, leaping over their parents’ generation-- that generation wiped clean of memory- to ask the elders about the past. This meeting may be awkward and uncomfortable but it is also an exciting adventure. Their stories are now documentary films presented in this program.
Co-sponsored by the Department of Performing & Media Arts and the Internationalizing the Cornell Curriculum Grant.