Taking a theoretical module in Visual Anthropology got me really excited about my own video project. I got to watch various documentaries; I thought about them critically and imagined what I would do differently as a filmmaker. Everything seemed so clear and easy. I became a judge of the picture, sound, intentions, narratives, music, or even choice of title font. I was convinced about how I want my film to be done. I had a detailed vision of every second of my documentary. Only thing that was missing was the theme.
The spring term came faster than expected; I was getting more and more excited about filming and editing. I still had no idea about the topic of my project but it could not make me feel stressed or pressured. I knew that the idea was going to creep in quietly; and one day, probably when I am eating my breakfast, having a shower or walking to campus, the topic is just going to appear right in front of me.
Our first exercise was self-exploration. We meditated, lying on the floor of our seminar room, then quietly, led by our own mind, ventured outside, looking for an object that catches our eye. I found a zip someone had lost from their jacket. After we returned to the seminar room, we drew a map of our journey. I was hoping that the map would reveal what the topic of my film was. But it did not. It revealed something else. Comparing my map with the maps made by my friends, I realised that everyone drew it differently. Mine was a structured plan of my journey, every point where I stopped was highlighted and explained, any possible explanation of each stop was indicated in my little drawings. Some people had really abstract mind maps, others just drew the place where they found their object very realistically. Every map was different, and I realised every film was going to be a different, very individual project.
I realised it did not matter what topic I was going to choose, at the end of the day, the project was going to be done in a certain way, it was going to be done by me. Therefore, I decided that I needed to choose a topic that is a part of me, something I know really well, something I understand, something that makes me feel excited and is close to my heart, something that makes me feel responsible for its representation.