FRAMING THE OTHER
Ilja Kok, Willem Timmers | Ethophia, Netherlands 2011 | 25 Min. | OmeU
The Mursi tribe resides in the basin of the Omo River, in the east African state of Ethiopia. Mursi women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings, which has become a subject of tourist attraction in recent years. Each year, hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned Mursi; posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for them. To make more money, they embellish their “costumes” and finery to appear more exotic to those outsiders. However, by exaggerating their habits and lifestyle in such a manner they are beginning to cause their traditional culture to disintegrate.
Framing the Other portrays the complex relationship between tourism and indigenous communities by revealing the intimate and intriguing thoughts of a Mursi woman from Southern Ethiopia and a Dutch tourist as they prepare to meet each other. This humorous, yet simultaneously uncomfortable, film shows the destructive impact tourism can have on traditional communities.