From Voice to Listening: Becoming Implicated Through Multi-linear Documentary

Much of traditional documentary has been concerned with matters of voice and visibility. However, to speak is to occupy a position of power, and the act of listening has long been overlooked. This chapter explores the importance of listening as a critical and ethical turn in documentary through the discussion of the following non-linear works: Natalie Bookchin’s Now he’s out in public and everyone can see (2012 and 2017) and Long Story Short (2016), Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill’s Empire: The Unintended Consequences of Dutch Colonialism (2012–2014) and Rosemarie Lerner and Maria Court’s Quipu Project (2015). I claim that a documentary practice that foregrounds listening as both a methodological process and an audience experience creates critical distance which can destabilize traditional binaries and implicate the practitioner and audience in the documentary project as an ecology of relationships, multiple perspectives, and complexity.

Munro, K. (2018) “From Voice to Listening: Becoming Implicated Through Multi-linear Documentary”. In: In Cammaer, G., Fitzpatrick, B., & Lessard, B. (eds) Critical Distance in Documentary Media Pp. 279—300, London, Palgrave MacMillan ISBN 978-3-319-96767-7

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