Sovereignty in the Sky

socio cultural anthropology

DIRECTOR: Kameel Ahmady
E-MAIL: [email protected]

This ethnographic short film made as part of visual ethnography training at Anthropology department of Kent University, it looks at role of minority language media in formation of identity among Kurds in the Diaspora and links to events in their home land. ROJ TV/ the major and one of the first European based Kurdish language satellite station have been the predominant actor within this process.

Recent political events in relation to the War on Terror however brought this TV station once again under suspicions and pressure from turkey. This represents a potential threat to freedom speech and to expression of ethnic minority identity. Story board it starts with journey which will be taken place from Kent University-UK, by Eurostar train through France to begin, documenting passport control and human mobility.

Arriving at the TV studios start observing and shooting activities at the work places, pre-recording programmers and news reader on perpetration. It record daily events at the studio and the importance of informal interactions as a place for bringing people and ideas together. Very interesting and amazing Ethnographic details given by the TV station’s ‘’Tea man’’ (chai Ji) about his family and why he work and sleeps there for the last five years and how he takes proud for making over 1000 teas per day.

Also a point from one of their executives talking about the importance of the Kurdish TV to the Kurdish Diaspora community and Kurdistan homeland. Pointing out the significant of its programme to give voice to community through social and political programmes as well as practicing and teaching Kurdish from different part of Kurdistan through voice over. Through the end this film tries to enlarge the threat that the free media is face with by looking at recent political climates and significant damage to formation of identify and image and meaning of freedom of media.

Close by drawing a parallel between the opportunities and constraints of human mobility and border controls with those on political ideas and freedom of expression in the media and forcing more and more control to our way of life by the political institutions. Also pointing out the importance of translational media in Diaspora formation. Sovereignty in the Sky’s Director, Kameel Ahmady a London-based originally hailing from Iranian Kurdistan; an anthropologist and visual ethnographer who has worked extensively on issues relating to Local cultures, migration, minority rights. It’s Producer and editor also an anthropologist is a PhD candidate Mr Brad Butler from University College London (UCL).

Run time: 3 min

Cameraman: Kameel Ahmady

Editor: Brad Butler

Director: Kameel Ahmady

Play Here:  (go to media page/films) © 2005


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