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RE: [xmca] Child Development in Film and Literature: Help!
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- Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 14:31:20 +0000
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- Thread-topic: [xmca] Child Development in Film and Literature: Help!
Mike, I'm not sure how broadly you intend to cast your net, but there's a fascinating documentary of African children. Here's how I describe it in one piece I wrote:
Fine and Fine (2007) also document how youth traumatized by war work through their experiences and construct new trajectories for their lives. The filmmakers focus on the Acholi orphans who live in the remote northern Uganda refugee camp of Patongo. The Acholi have been terrorized since 1987 by the Lord's Resistance Army, a militia that opposes the military dictatorship of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The rebels use guerrilla tactics, including kidnapping children as young as five years old and as great in number as whole school populations, in order to develop them into boy soldiers. Those children who escape and attempt to return home typically find their families murdered or otherwise destroyed and take shelter in the refugee camps, which offer government protection from the rebels. These children, like those Daiute (2010) has worked with, have experienced horrif-ic conditions and brutal terror, particularly those who have been forced to become killers themselves.
Rather than using the verbal means of narrative speech as a way to mediate their experiences with trauma, however, the youth do so through singing and dancing. The film alternates between stories the children tell of their experiences with the rebels and their participation in a national competition of traditional dancing and singing. Although the documentary lacks the sort of analytic power through which Daiute both studied and assisted European youth, it includes segments in which the children talk about how the role of playing instruments, singing, and dancing enables affective mediation.
I open this chapter with this contrast to introduce the idea of multidimensional expression and representation. Both traumatized groups employ mediational tools through which they address feelings developed through their experiences in war. Culturally, however, they rely on different sign-and-tool systems. For the Europe-ans and the intervening U.S. researcher, speech is indeed the "tool of tools" for mediating traumatic experiences. For the Ugandans, however, the cultural practices of music and dance provide similar potential. The different means of mediation available in the two cultures provide different channels toward the same result: the effective integration of war trauma into the construction of a new and positive life trajectory.
Fine, S., & Fine, A. N. (2007). War/Dance. New York: THINKFilm. Available at http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/war-dance/
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10:19 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
Subject: [xmca] Child Development in Film and Literature: Help!
I am thinking of teaching a course on the way the process of child development is represented in film and literature. Mostly I am aimed at fiction, but classic studies such as "7 up" would count, I guess, but the focus is on fiction. Just not lecture on the topic.
Frankenstein is on my list.
South Park TV program
I would really welcome suggestions.
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