Eurocentric history has been used "to suppress the ways of knowing, and the languages for knowing, of many different indigenous peoples. Reclaiming a voice in this context has also been about reclaiming, reconnecting and reordering those ways of knowing."
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies (1999)
Since its inception in the early 1930s, Eurocentric documentary filmmaking has relied upon the supposed “transparency” of photographic representation to (consciously or otherwise) normalize mainstream values, economic interests, and political views, reinforcing the erroneous idea Western nations are homogeneously white and middle-class. Moreover, Eurocentric documentary has tended to depict Indigenous cultures as frozen in a past era, thereby either romanticizing or demonizing them, while showing little interest in accurately representing their cultures and ways of living.
Increasingly, though, documentarians from around the globe are rejecting this type of Eurocentric discourse, crafting counter-narratives that highlight the multiplicity of cultural realities inhabiting any given society. Yet, this new trend in documentary filmmaking tends to disregard Indigenous epistemologies in its storytelling approach and use of stylistic conventions. Additionally, when developing stories about Native cultures, contemporary documentarians, who are still predominantly white and middle class, very rarely establish meaningful and lasting relationships with members of these communities, leading to a widespread misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples.
In Circles of Story Circles, I intend to address these deficiencies by offering a forum for discussing tribal sovereignty and cultural preservation issues. This website also gathers in one place information about Native American film festivals, programs, and organizations. As well, it includes links to documentary films on Native American culture, and invites the submission of additional films, providing Indigenous filmmakers who cannot afford distribution and exhibition costs with an accessible means for disseminating their work.
If you wish to upload a Documentary Film based upon a topic important to your…Learn More
Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act - 1975
In 1975, Congress passed the…Learn More
An Indigenous Research Agenda adopts Ethical Research Protocols that:
* Recognize the COLLECTIVE RIGHTS…Learn More