Following a mobile laundry service for the homeless in the city of Athens, this short ethnographic film investigates the ambiguous, fluent and contextual nature of notions of ‘‘cleanliness’’ and ‘‘dirt’’. With a focus on circulation and the washing machine as the main character, the film reflects upon complex anthropological notions from everyday life through a small-scale initiative and allows the investigation of ideas attached to cleanness. Moving with the laundry van on its daily rounds in the city, this film voices the community gathering around the service and gives an insight into the importance attached to elements of normalcy and belonging. In combination with a visual attention to things simultaneously clean and dirty, the film offers insights into cleanliness not only as an idea, a practice and a cultural construction, but also as a need, a meeting point and an access into spheres of normality.
With a background in social anthropology from the University of Copenhagen, Rosa only recently – but equally enthusiastically – started working with film as a medium for anthropological inquiry. Having been trained only in the classically written form, she hopes to primarily employ audio-visual tools in her future work, pursuing new vistas for qualitative research in the fields of urban resistance, resilience and social stratification, as well as combining aesthetic-oriented skills with academic ones.
Sophie received her BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Saint Xavier’s College in Mumbai. Due to her exposure to the Indian and Western culture, discourses around interculturality have become the focus of her research. She recently discovered documentary filmmaking as the perfect medium to combine her academic background with her passion for the arts. Her strong belief in the power of the visual to create fruitful dialogues and positive change make her confident about pursuing this field professionally in the future.