Ana Vaz looking at the camera with camera in hand.
Image: Ana Vaz
Source: Ana Vaz
Since July, Ana has been busily working on her own Talking Difference project. She is working on a series of short social-documentary films with migrant families in and around Melbourne.
I caught up with her to see how her project is going.
What inspired you to do this project?
I strongly feel that the question of cultural identity and diversity is one of great pertinence not exclusive to Australia but one which is bound up with the overall condition of the migrant in a shifting world. This project is driven by a belief that it is only through promoting dialogue within and between diverse migrant communities that we can mature socially and culturally as a society.
As part of the project, you are going to create video family portraits. Can you tell me a little bit about where the idea came from?
I am inspired by the Enlightenment tradition of family portraits as a base for a more subversive use of the style through an inversion of the social lens, of its focus. For me, the family portrait speaks of a time, of the values of a specific time and the many identities that may populate this time. Through creating video family portraits of migrated families, my idea is that these portraits serve as testament to the time we live in, the shifting configuration of our social fabric.
What’s been your favourite part of the project so far?
Every part of this project has been a great learning for me as an artist, as a filmmaker and mostly as a human being. Though this project, I have been granted the opportunity to work closely with a number of thought-provoking, enthusiastic, complex and interesting people from a number of different backgrounds.
Through this process, I have been able to strongly empathize and better understand the lives and experiences of the many different migrant and refugee communities in Melbourne. I feel enthusiastic with the future possibilities of further engaging with the different communities I have had the honour to meet.
What next? Where to from here?
At this stage, I am finding participants for the project and liaising with community leaders who are helping me through this process. I feel strong and enthusiastic about the direction this project is taking.
Last weekend Ana set up her camera at a Ramadan Festival in Broadmeadows to start her series of family portraits.
Watch this space to see the results!