In the act of documenting, power dynamics emerge between storytellers, those whose stories are being told and the audiences consuming them. Filmmakers frequently take an authoritative role over the stories of others. This power becomes evident when their vision, as artist and author, conflicts with those sharing their stories, sometimes leading to decisions that compromise trust, cross ethical boundaries and, at times, put people in precarious situations.
These relationships often reflect eurocentric, colonial, patriarchal or heteronormative dynamics that are prevalent in wider society, leading to portrayals that perpetuate these inequalities. However, when people in films have ownership of their own narratives, the moving image also has the potential to liberate, to challenge, subvert and alter these power structures.
In this workshop, we want to challenge the role of the auteur in non-fiction filmmaking and explore how relinquishing control as filmmakers can inform our practice. Together we will examine the ethical issues that arise at the intersection of creative practice and social issues, explore approaches of making with, rather than about, and collaboratively develop strategies to challenge, displace and subvert the power of the auteur, shifting the balance of power towards those whose stories are told.