La Rara Sueña (2015)

We built this film around our meetings on the lab after the summer of 2015. We found the topic of dreams as being a good fit to merge all the ideas that each member of the group had been noting over the summer. This notes surrounded topics such as locations, instants or just different situations. In addition of working on the main topic of the film (dreams), we continued with the reading and discussion of different texts as well as with the screenings of film fragments. For this project, it was particularly important the work by Albert Serra. 

One of the texts that we work around of was a piece written by Susana and which would later become the narrative thread that joined the different scenes.

All the locations and situations on each scene were decided by the protagonists on each of them. The only rule that we imposed ourselves was that of the impossibility of naming the word dreams when talking about them.

Coming up next we are going to share a fragment of a text by Marco Tobón1 on the usage of dreams as an ethnographic tool:

… if we were to admit the idea of dreams being a way of acquiring “knowledge as rightful and valuable as that acquired when being awake” (Niño, 2007: 295; Cheniaux, 2006: 171), dreams would be an active way of the ethnographic process. This implies to ask ourselves what we feel, think and live when we are on that side of existence we dedicate to sleeping. As Lichtenberg noted “Our history is the story of the awakened man” (Galinier et al. , 2010: 821) hence that paying attention to dreams related to our research and dreams dreamed by our interlocutor could turn into some sort of ethnography of the night (Galinier et al.- 2010: 835). This may develop not only into a profound discussion with those whom we share that shared reality with, but also into a way of acquiring anthropological information and concerns in itself. In many societies dreaming is instituted in a way that an apparent individualistic experience is seen as a form of communication not only with “other world” but as with other human beings as well. (Perrin, 1990: 11) […]

These references highlight that concepts, cultural practices and dreams are intertwined. Mind and dreams are both affected by cultural experiences at the same time that to share and narrate those dreams  contribute to grow the way in which we feel and think given experiences (Hollan, 2004: 172). Ethnographic practice, to my seeing, does not escape this situation. This is because the dreams that are experienced and revolve around the topic being researched, being those dreams of our own or of our interlocutors, are offering messages and ideas about our own experiences, about the relation with whom we work with, about mutual proceeding, about our intellectual and moral concerns and about the historic reality with which we are faced. 

1 Tobón, M. (2015). Los sueños como instrumentos etnográficos. AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, 10 (03): 331-353. DOI: 10. 11156/aibr. 100303