Im Folgenden findet ihr einen Kommentar von Graduates des MUWCI, also des Mahindra United World College in India, der sich kritisch mit dem Film "The UWC Spirit" auseinandersetzt. Ich habe diesen
Text mit Zustimmung der Autoren übernommen und wie es immer so schön in den Zeitungen heißt spiegelt der Kommentar nicht unbedingt meine Meinung wieder. Ich habe auch nicht die Absicht einen
Kommentar zum Kommentar zu schreiben, sondern möchte einfach nur auch diese Sichtweise zugänglich machen.
"The fact that the documentary “The UWC Spirit” explicitly embraces the single perspective of its producer, who chose to make a documentary about himself, should give us insights into the profound limitations of such work. In fact, his so-called “UWC Spirit” strikingly depicts an Orientalist-imperialist essentialized ´UWCness´ that we do not only find ideologically problematic but also false.
All the stories shown in the documentary share the following characteristics: people from ‘underdeveloped’ backgrounds who faced personal tragedies associated to stereotypical fashionable narratives about their respective societies are patronized; they are ‘saved’ from the ‘shackles’ of their fetishized cultures under the wings of personified liberalism and civilizing progress. It is worrying that this vision of the “UWC spirit”, as captured by this documentary, will become predominant and thus more real, serving a project that would echo imperialist discourses.
Furthermore, it is insulting for the people whose stories appear in the documentary that their suffering is (mis)used for the sake of propaganda and as a marketing opportunity.
Even if UWC was the new ‘mission civilisatrice’, it would fail in its purpose a priori as it does not have the means to accomplish such an endeavour. Anyone that went to UWC can testify that most students come from the elite of their respective countries and share a liberal globalized worldview. Hence, they do not fulfil the criteria for this kind of ‘UWC salvation project’.
Although the documentary might have helped the producer ‘experience the world’, it is (fortunately) far from representing everyone´s UWC experience. It would be a healthy and ‘constructive’ exercise to reflect on the decision-making process involved in this film. Who decided on the inclusion/exclusion of stories and experiences? Who decides what the “UWC Spirit” is or should be?
We acknowledge the hard work put into this documentary. The intention is not to personally attack anyone but to raise concerns that we consider legitimate, serious and constructive.
Doha Tazi Hemida and Iván Hofman; MUWCI Class of ‘14."