Brunel Anthropology PhD student Anne Lotter has just completed a new documentary on the experiences of some of the women with whom she worked in the field. Her research examined the levels of potentially avoidable suffering as a result of the structural violence experienced by a group of poor women living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda. She looked for links to adverse outcomes of structural violence, including lack of access to medical care, education, continued extreme poverty and experiences of physical violence generated by poverty.
In 2016 Anne and filmmaker Bex Devaraj returned to the Kampala slums to film the lives of six women, who share their stories of heartache, hope and living with HIV in a place where every day is a struggle for survival. The result was Positive Women, an intimate and moving portrayal of the women, covering everything from polygamous marriage, to being bewitched, to dreams of driving a car. This documentary gives a voice to a community who’ve never had one. Anne hopes it will help move our understanding beyond an acceptance of oppressor vs. oppressed and look instead at the power dynamics in a system where men as a group dominate women as a group, both structurally and ideologically.
Positive Women was first screened to an enthusiastic crowd of Brunel Anthropology students to mark World AIDS Day in December 2017. Anne and Bex are delighted to announce that it will have its first public screening, followed by a Q&A, at the Exeter Phoenix cinema on Wednesday 7th March (6pm) to mark International Women's Day 2018.