Grant TypeFejos Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationEmory U.
Grant numberGr. 9506
Approve DateOctober 4, 2017
Project TitleChio, Dr. Jenny T., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid filmmaking on 'These Days, These Homes: An Ethnographic Portrait Film' - Fejos Postdoctoral Fellowship
‘These Days, These Homes’ is an ethnographic portrait film of two Miao women, Wu and Qin, in Guizhou, China. Using an engaged observational approach, the film offers intimate, first-person perspectives on the massive social transformations and immense economic pressures facing rural women in China. Part one follows Wu through the small city of Kaili as she reflects on her life as a mother, a former migrant factory worker, a farmer, and now an informal street vendor selling soft tofu every afternoon. Wu’s movements, from the village to the factory to the city, defy simplistic depictions of the ‘rural migrant laborer.’ Part two chronicles Qin, who has lived in three different homes in Upper Jidao since 2006 because of her work as the village clinician and now as the owner of a busy guesthouse and Miao cultural heritage center. Qin’s ambitions for her tourism business and her ambivalent position in the village reveal the ongoing anxieties and potentials for a generation of self-driven rural ethnic minority women. Amplifying this ethnographic portrait is the relationship between Wu, Qin, and the anthropologist-filmmaker who has recorded their lives over ten years. Thus, the film also illuminates the possibilities and ethics of engaged, longitudinal ethnography.