Linking Gender, Diving and Filmmaking: Conceptualising Film Outcomes as Narrative Capital Gains in the Making of Wawata Topu (Women Divers) in West Atauro, Timor-Leste

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Wawata Topu is a documentary portraying a group of women divers in Atauro Island, Timor-Leste. Initially aimed at increasing the visibility of women’s roles in the fisheries sector, the filmmaking process brought along a practical negotiation between the community and the filmmakers on the topics to be included in the film. This paper describes the filmmaking process, reports on the final contents of the film, and explains the reasons the different themes were included. Based on a previous theoretical exploration on the notion of narrative capital, we suggest that this process of negotiation resulted in the enhancement of the women’s narrative capabilities. After the release of the film, the protagonists were able to transform their enhanced capacity to be heard and acknowledged into social and symbolic resources leading to economic and health benefits.
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