The Folk Memory Project 民间记忆计划

memory projectBenefited from the ‘Village Documentary project (2005-2013)’, Caochangdi Workstation have had a series of projects for documentary and performance. In the summer of 2009, we began a documentary film project to chronicle the events that took place between the “3 year famine” period of 1959 and 1961.

By the summer of 2010, we had 21 people participating, making this Caochangdi Workstation’s landmark “folk memory project.” In this year 2012, it had 103 participants going back to their villages for interviews, with more 900 interviewees coming from 18 provinces and 130 villages.

Interview topics ranged from the “3 year famine”, the “Great Leap Forward,” the “Land Reform” and the “Cultural Revolution,” across different historical periods. In summary, this project is a trial in creating folk memory archives.

Knocking on Memory’s Door with a Video Camera

A handful of people took video cameras and went back to their respective villages. They went in search of the old generation that was still living there in dim, stark houses. They went to uncover the memories hidden deep inside them. Each filmmaker had some prior relationship to the village. Some of them were born or grew up there, some still live there, some had never lived in the village but had parents or grandparents who had. For the old people in the village, this was the first time anyone had come with a camera to ask them to open their memory chests. Here was the younger generation, leaping over their parents’ generation– that generation wiped clean of memory- to ask the elders about the past. This meeting may be awkward and uncomfortable but it is also an exciting adventure. Their stories are now documentary films presented in this program.

“精英立场”到“民间叙事”:访问中国纪录片之父吴文光 来源《周末画报》

2005年吴文光创立了草场地工作站,同年策划组织“村民影像计划”,来自9个省市的10个村民在工作站学习纪录片拍摄。2006年后,村民在自己村子拍摄纪录片,其中有5位村民持续至今,完成纪录长片25部。而开始于2010年无计划、无预算的的“民间记忆影像计划”开始于“饥饿计划”,由20多位参与者各自返回到自己(或与自己有关)的村子拍摄采访老人,采访内容由1959年至1961年发生的“三年困难”历史为开端,并延伸到“土改”、“大跃进”、“文革”等不同历史时期。参与者除“村民影像计划”中的村民作者,主要为年轻的纪录片作者、剧场或其它艺术创作者、及在校学生,大部分是“85后”年轻人。

……

从《流浪北京》就凸显的知识分子立场和精英意识,曾一度成为“村民影像计划”可持续进行的障碍。一开始的那几年,吴文光无意识保持了这种知识分子视野与村民合作影像拍摄,而这也成为了与村民产生矛盾的根源。如何把村民拍摄的长篇大段素材在10分钟内呈现出来,呈现什么内容?在剪辑的过程中吴文光与村民产生了分歧,不懂剪辑后期处理技术的村民认为吴文光的剪辑把他们最想拍摄的部分剪掉,因而觉得表达权被篡夺了。而在吴文光看来,他只是从一个导演叙事的角度去讲好一个故事,“10分钟能容纳的素材很有限”。矛盾因此爆发,这样的僵持局面持续了大半年,影像计划也随之搁浅。

吴文光坦言,与村民的矛盾让他耿耿于怀大半年,在这段时间里,他几乎没再打开看这些影像。“我真的不了解村民真正的内心,村民凭什么要信任你”。而这僵持的局面也开启了吴文光对于整个影像计划从构思到实施的反思,特别是自己先验的“自我崇高化心理和俯视视角”,“这个事情就变成了所谓一个有资源的人,在一个表面冠冕堂皇的计划下开始了村民的影像计划,初创的是农民,农民似乎是得到了一种恩惠,他们被施于一种表达的权利。而事实上,双方却是互相不信任的。我不信任村民能拍出好东西,而村民也不信任我就能表达出他们想要表达的诉求。”

这样与村民之间的反复磨合一直存在,吴文光也一直在调整自己的状态,“于我个人而言,从一开始对村民的不信任、总是自我崇高化的精英意识,到现在与村民在一起合作,我试着保持赞赏、反思和质疑。”影像计划持续到第五年的时候,原来的十个人只剩下四个还在坚持。“村民于我的意义就是与一群素不相识的人结伴,变成一伙人。计划实施五年以后,当我们反省村民影像计划的时候,我完全被打开了,也找到为什么要让村民做下去的理由。”吴文光把摄影机交给村民,让他们自己去拍,他把这称为“森林里一棵树对另一棵树的打量”,而这种打量,“源于村民拍摄的天生本能”,这种直觉和本能,在他看来是他永远都捕捉不到的效果。“一开始我并不相信村民能拍出好东西,但是他们的表现远远超过了我的预期,因为他们不是纪录片导演,他们拍片是为了改变,而作为纪录片导演的我们很多时候还是在执行一个艺术计划。”

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