Yanqui WALKER and the OPTICAL REVOLUTION is an experimental documentary about a, now obscure, American expansionist and military dictator, William Walker who, through military force and coercion, became president of Nicaragua in 1856. The film blends found footage, documentary photography, ethnographic inquiry and personal travelogue with experimental film techniques such as hand-processing, optical printing and hand conducted time-lapse to detour and derail the various approaches to history making that have been applied to this story. Yanqui WALKER as a contemporary work of film art, not only tells us something about history and how it connects to current political, social and economic situations but also how art and poetry can be a means to subvert and transcend even the most oppressive of narratives.
This film was funded in part by the LEF New England Moving Image Fund, Emerson College Faculty Advancement Fund Grant and the Judy Huret Faculty Award. Selected screenings and awards include: BEST SHORT DOC at the Athens International Film and Video festival, 2010, Jury selection (1st prize) at the Black Maria Film festival, 2010 and official selection at the TriBeca Film Festival, 2010 among others.
This film is distributed by Third World Newsreel for education purchase and exhibition. For exhibition on film and all other inquiries contact the filmmaker.
Kathryn Ramey is a filmmaker and anthropologist whose work operates at the intersection of experimental film processes and ethnographic research. Her award winning and strongly personal films are characterized by manipulation of the celluloid including hand-processing, optical printing, and various direct animation techniques. Her scholarly interest is focused on the social history of the Avant-Garde film community, the anthropology of visual communication and the intersection between avant-garde and ethnographic film and art practices. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Social Science Research Council on the Arts fellowship, the LEF New England moving Image Grant and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship. She has published articles in Visual Anthropology Review and The Independent as well as the anthologies Women’s Experimental Cinema (Duke), Made to Be Seen: Perspectives on the History of Visual Anthropology (U of Chicago), Anthropology and Art Practice (Berg), and Experimental film and Anthropology (Berg) has screened films at multiple film festivals and other venues including the Toronto Film Festival, the TriBeCa film festival, MadCat Women’s Film Festival, 25fps Experimental Film Festival in Zagreb, Croatia and the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC.Her book Experimental Filmmaking: Break the Machine is due out from Focal press in Spring 2015. It is a thinly veiled experimental ethnography on the contemporary experimental film scene masquerading as a textbook on experimental film techniques written in the freehand voice of a zine.