The Camera is the Body

Ana Vaz, Escola Secundária Dom Dinis.

In 2019/2020 A Câmara é o Corpo (The Camera is the Body) by Ana Vaz led to the creation of a film with pupils from Dom Dinis Secondary School.

The short film 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird is the result of a year-long collaboration between Ana Vaz and two high school students, Vera Amaral and Mário Neto, this is a kaleidoscopic film about what it is to look, to be looked at and about the latent potential of cinema. The collaboration with the Secondary School D. Dinis was organized by Galerias Municipais within the context of the DESCOLA project series.

Taking its title from the poem by Wallace Stevens, 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird is composed of a series of attempts of looking and being looked at. The film became a kaleidoscope of the experiences, questions and wonders encountered by a couple of high school students, who – over a period of one year and together with filmmaker Ana Vaz – questioned what cinema can be. Here, the camera becomes an instrument of inquiry, a pencil and a song. “The film is a song you can see” wrote one of the students in a constellation of phrases and drawings produced collectively during one of the workshops. The phrase is a perfect description of a film that explores a nascent ecology of the senses.