What do ‘I’ want?

“All blueprints of what people should be like are at once denials of reality and attempts to create it anew. It is one of the peculiar characteristics of human wanting that it always involves being persuaded about what it is one should want. This persuasion, which takes many forms – from brainwashing to education, from seduction to conversation – is one way of describing the experience of growing up in any society.

The wanting without which human survival is impossible is symbolically organised; wanting is inextricable from what our societies tell us we should want. If our loves and hates, our likings and our curiosities, our passions and aversions ‘come under conceptual definition, manipulation and control’, then there is no natural state in which we can live, or to which we can return. Indeed, the whole notion of a natural state, or significant origin, is itself one of those culturally generated conceptual definitions.”

Whether in country of origin or in country of destination, one burning question seem to overlap – What is it that we really want? What do you really want your art or filmmaking to do?

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  1. Florence Ayisi posted the following on January 13, 2010 at 16:09.

    What ‘I’ really, really want both ‘here’ and ‘there…’

    I am currently working on a paper on the politics of representation in which I’m hoping to highlight and discuss some ideas including how African film practice/African cinema (an important art form) can render ‘other’ aspects of African culture & People visible.

    The kinds of documentary films that I have made, and would like to continue making, are the ones that allow me to provide something that is missing – a way to say something different about African people and their lived experiences; to refocus and redefine we have been represented. So, at the other end, my desire is to find a way that viewers/audience (through TV, Internet, film festivals, etc) can imagine and speak about African people differently. So, when audiences encounter or engage with my documentary films that show a slice of ‘real’ life in Africa, I hope they can begin to imagine something that is different from, and also challenges, the status quo, the dominant staple diet of negativity.

    I hope that on a very small scale, the viewer can begin to imagine something different through my doc films. Even if viewers choose not to imagine Africa differently through these ‘new’ perspectives, the important thing is that we have spoken. And to speak, (when ‘others’ have mostly spoken for you or about you), is a way to validate your own experience from your own perspective. The act of saying something different from the status quo is an act of resisting how we have been defined.

    There are ‘many different ways of seeing’, and my ideas discussed above are not only in relation to Africans – these ideas relate to any community, people, or group in society that is misrepresented, marginalized, under-represented or absent in mainstream media. With regards to the notion of Representation, something very important happened, or changed, when Women started making films.

    Let me leave you with what Ousmane Sembène, our late Father of African Cinema once said “…it is up to us to create our values. When others ignore us, should we ignore ourselves? Of course not. In the dark, even if others don’t see me, I see myself, and I shine.”

    Greetings from Florence Ayisi

  2. Luka Zautashvili posted the following on January 13, 2010 at 16:20.

    You touched interesting themes in this Post. Question: what do I want? if I read this question straight, without contexts or my subjective beliefs, than wanting is already an emotionally empowered word – if we WANT art or something else than it will be motivated exactly by curiosities, passions and likings which already pre-describe the hidden desire or goal which we try to pursue.
    I cannot answer your question as my answer will regret the question itself so I will ask another question: What do you feel when you create art or a film?
    Luka