This chapter examines Jean Rouch's conception of “shared anthropology.” For Rouch, there were a number of different stations on the “path of shared anthropology.” During the first stage, the feedback screenings, the sharing was relatively passive: Rouch screened the films, the subjects grew to understand why this strange European kept coming back with his camera, while Rouch grew to understand more about them. But the feedback screenings were only the prelude to what would become a much more active process of collaboration, for he discovered that at the end of a feedback screening, one or more members of the audience would typically come up to him and suggest an idea for a new film. The way that the screening of one film could lead to another was crucial to his conception of “shared anthropology,” since the subjects who proposed an idea for a new film following a screening became not merely protagonists, but active “stakeholders” in the new venture.
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