Entry for 'Dance the Ph.D.' Contest 2013
‘Moving Choices’ shows how my friends and I embody the concept of motility, which refers to the capacity or potential to move. We dance how human mobility can happen on a small or individual level, or as complex patterns in time and space. By focussing on the capacity to move, rather than just the observable facts of mobility, a motility analysis adds depth and understanding to mobility studies. This was a central finding of my Ph.D. in Social Anthropology at the University of Cologne in Germany.
For the Ph.D., I spent a one-year fieldwork period with the Baka, a group of former hunter-gatherers living in the tropical forests of Gabon in Central Africa. I was researching how and why the Baka are or are not mobile today.
As the Baka wear the same clothes we do, I realised that doing away with any costumes or props and donning our favourite everyday-wear was the most appropriate and respectful way of depicting my research context in the film. Simply dancing in a studio I had hired for the occasion and filming in black and white equally acknowledge this fact.
We hope you enjoy our moving choices.
If you would like to know more about the Baka in Gabon, please have a look here: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/5238/