(France) Super 8 Filmmaking and Text and Image in Paris

Images beyond Borders

  • Location: Paris, France
  • Faculty: Baba Hillman, Professor Emerita, Film and Video and Jennifer Bajorek, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Visual Studies
  • Learning Collaborative Theme(s): In/Justice, Media and Technology, and Time and Narrative
  • Course Number: HACU-288S
  • Departure Date: May 31, 2023
  • Return Date: June 18, 2023
  • Course Fee (tentative): $2,800 + airfare and misc. expenses (information about additional expenses and financial aid below)

*Dates & fees are subject to change

Course Summary

This new multidisciplinary course co-taught by Baba Hillman and Jennifer Bajorek is designed for students in film, performance, studio arts, photography, writing and curatorial practice. The course expands on the Filmmaking in Paris course that Hillman has taught since 2009. The new course offers two separate tracks. The filmmaking track includes workshops in cinematography, performance, film theory and editing on Super 8 film. The writing and curatorial track includes workshops in writing, criticism, publishing, photographic essay and exhibition-making. Each student will complete either a short film or an essay-length writing or photography project. Critical work examines themes of representation, immigration and diaspora in France. Students will attend screenings and exhibits at the Cinématheque Française, Centre Pompidou, L’Institut du Monde Arabe, and at alternative arts spaces such as Le Centquatre, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and Les Salaisons. The course provides a foundation for students to shape a working process that will extend through their Division II and III years.

Information about Hillman’s previous Paris courses along with excerpts from student films and writing is available on the course 

“During the course, our meetings with filmmakers, artists, and other cultural workers broadened my understanding of the nuances of cultural identity in relation to migration, movement, displacement, hybridity, and cultural exchange. Gaining technical skills in Super 8 filmmaking and simultaneously creating a project that synthesized my thinking gave me a unique and valuable opportunity to think through complex issues in an immediate way.”
Miatta Kawinzi 07S

> See what else past participants had to say.

Prerequisites

Film track: Introductory film, video, studio art, performance, or other media practice/theory course. 

Writing/curatorial track: Introductory art history, photography practice, photography history, literature/creative writing, or art practice/theory course. 

Course events are presented in French and English. There are no language prerequisites.

Eligibility

Short-term field course eligibility requirements: for Hampshire and non-Hampshire students

Financial Information

Short-term field course finances and fundingImportant information about fees, payments, and financial aid.

Course Fee

Includes the following for the full three weeks of the program: tuition/workshops; all cameras, equipment, and film, film processing, and supplies; accommodation and local transportation; most meals, course activities, and orientation costs.

Additional Expenses (costs not included in the course fee)

Approximately $1,200 to include airfare (~$600), additional meals ($300), passport expenses, transportation to and from U.S. airport, and personal expenses. 

How to Apply

Short-term field course application deadlines and instructions

Full Course Description

This new multidisciplinary course co-taught by Baba Hillman and Jennifer Bajorek is designed for students in film, performance, studio arts, photography, writing and curatorial practice. The course expands on the Filmmaking in Paris course that Hillman has taught since 2009. The new course offers two separate tracks. The filmmaking track includes workshops in cinematography, performance, film theory and editing on Super 8 film. The writing and curatorial track includes workshops in writing, criticism, publishing, photographic essay and exhibition-making. Each student will complete either a short film or an essay-length writing or photography project. Critical work examines themes of representation, immigration and diaspora in France. Students will attend screenings and exhibits at the Cinématheque Française, Centre Pompidou, L’Institut du Monde Arabe, and at alternative arts spaces such as Le Centquatre, L’Abominable, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers and Les Salaisons. The course provides a foundation for students to shape a working process that will extend through their Division II and III years.

The course will include twelve students divided into two groups of six; one group of students who will concentrate on making short films, and one group of students who will undertake essay-length projects in other mediums, with a focus on text and image (photographic essay, exhibition proposal, essay collection, etc.). The two groups will come together for seminars with visiting artists, filmmakers and writers and visits to exhibits, performances and screenings.

The filmmaking component of the course combines intensive workshops in cinematography, performance, film theory and editing on Super 8 film. Each student will shoot, process, edit and project a short film. All cameras, film and editing equipment are provided. Students are asked to write detailed proposals for their films, with a bibliography of related films and readings. Seminars address such topics as changing cinematic representations of the architecture and urban space of the city and the politics of film funding, production and distribution in France.

We examine closely the relationships between visual, performative and written language, analyzing these languages in the context of the specific histories and social contexts that have shaped them. We will study films by filmmakers who are working in hybrid combinations of poetic, fictional and non-fictional forms and in a context of multiple languages and transnational histories. Many of these films embody a contestation of traditional ideas of French identity and of dominant linguistic and cultural forms. The films center on the performance of shifts in Parisian cultural identities, emphasizing the body and the landscape as the primary sites of a daily negotiation of place, language and identity.

In past courses, students have attended workshops, performances and other live events with filmmakers, artists and curators including Mike Ladd, Nelson Aduaka, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Johanna Vaude and Nicole Brenez.

The writing and curatorial component of the course combines intensive workshops in critical and creative writing, curatorial practice, the photographic essay, and publishing. Each student will research and realize a critical essay or creative written or visual essay (e.g., photographic essay) in published form, or an exhibition proposal ready for submission to a venue or funder. We will study works by contemporary artists, writers, and curators, paying particularly close attention to transcultural and multilingual writing and image-making and hybrid and collaborative text and image practice. Histories of formal innovation in experimental mediums will be interrogated alongside those of anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, and feminist/queer contestation, organizing, and protest. All students will regularly workshop their projects and, in the course’s second half, prepare them for publication. Cameras, darkroom, and digital editing facilities will be provided for students working in photography with advance notice and project pre-approval.

Potential guest teachers for the 2023 session include curators Riason Naidoo, Kader Attia and Anne Zeitz, artists Raphaël Grisey, Sylvain George and Hamedine Kane, and writers such as Olivier Marboeuf, Shela Sheikh and Adel Tincelin.

Writing and curatorial workshops will be taught by Professor Jennifer Bajorek and artists, writers, and curators engaged in art research and practice. Alternative art spaces that are also spaces of civic and public gathering in and around Paris will be our living classroom, and students will attend numerous live events (artists’ and curators’ talks, readings, and public art interventions) alongside exhibitions. 

Academic Program

Cumulative Skills

  • Successfully conceive and complete independent project-based work.
  • Understand and incorporate multiple cultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects.

Academic Expectations & Evaluation

Students will be expected to submit an artist statement, a self-evaluation and a course evaluation.

Language Learning

There are no language prerequisites for the course. Students are given a number of resources, as part of the pre-departure preparation, that they can draw upon to begin to develop their conversational skills in French. During the course, students will be attending presentations and workshops with French-speaking artists, filmmakers and writers. Each event, exhibit and workshop is used as an opportunity to build vocabulary and conversational skills.

Community Engagement

The course is closely connected to community-engaged and collaborative practice. Course events and activities draw upon the extensive networks of artists, filmmakers, writers, curators and activists that Hillman and Bajorek have built over many years in Paris. We work with filmmakers’ collectives that are dedicated to supporting sustainable analogue filmmaking through collaborative distribution and shared resources. These collectives are an integral part of the historically vibrant and politically engaged tradition of alternative cinema in France. Collaborating with these groups inspires our students to think about alternative ways of building and supporting their own filmmaking communities.

We work with artists, writers, curators and activists engaged with questions of im/migration, diaspora and multiculturalism and their visual and verbal representation. Inviting students into these conversations exposes them to new perspectives. Giving them space to pursue writing and curatorial practice in text and image and essay forms invites them to explore plural forms of artistic and cultural production and to weave multiple perspectives together.

Program Logistics

Visa and Other Travel Requirements

Valid passport; no visa required for US or EU citizens; students with other passports should consult the website of the French Embassy for information regarding visa requirements and application procedures. All participants are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and follow any additional COVID-19 testing and quarantining requirements. 

Program Itinerary

(Subject to Change)

May 31, 2023:  Depart the U.S. and arrive Paris/Charles de Gaulle June 1;  Travel by van to Paris.

June 18, 2023: Depart Paris and arrive U.S. June 18, 2023.

Environment,  Level of Physical Activity and Dietary Needs

Temperate climate, no particular travel difficulties. During the Paris course, students will walk several miles a day and also take public transport around the city. The Paris metro is not fully accessible and many metro lines do not have elevators or escalators at the entrances and exits. We are able to accommodate special dietary needs.

Travel Plans

Students are expected to make their own travel arrangements to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport. The group will travel by van to and from Charles de Gaulle Airport, and by train and van to and from southwestern France. Participants must book travel according to the travel requirements provided by the faculty director upon acceptance.

Housing Arrangements

In Paris students will stay at the MIJE Residence, 6 rue de fourcy which is two blocks from the Seine and one block from Metro Saint Paul in the Marais.

Pre-departure Preparation

There will be two group meetings to discuss participants' film proposals, academic expectations, country-specific information, and other pre-departure preparations. Students are also required to participate in a session with the Global Education Office on culture and identity, health and safety, study abroad policies, and important travel information.

Questions?

Questions about the application and selection process or financial aid should be directed to the Global Education Office:

Global Education Office
geo@hampshire.edu
413.559.5542

Questions regarding the academic content or itinerary should be directed to the faculty directors:

Baba Hillman
bhillman@hampshire.edu

Jennifer Bajorek
jbajorek@hampshire.edu