Shireen Hamza, 2019 Harvard Flaherty Fellow, shared her reflections on the Seminar on the Critical Media Practice (CMP) blog. Shireen is a PhD student in Harvard’s History of Science department. Her work focuses on the history of science and medicine in the medieval Islamicate world (Islamicate here refers to the multi-confessional world within the borders of Islamic polities).
I wasn’t really sure what the Flaherty seminar was, beyond a large group of people gathering to watch and discuss films, three times a day for seven days. I knew about the principle of non-predisposition, that I would be walking into each day’s three programs without knowing what I would be watching beforehand. But before arriving and speaking with some of the participants who had attended previous seminars, I did not know of the many significant changes that the organizers of Flaherty have made over the last few years. Though the seminar has a long history of being a place for international film, the organizers have of-late been choosing programmers who could uniquely center communities of artists whose work is marginalized in, and not widely accessible in, the US.