265 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(2005, digital video, 49 minutes)

"How Little We Know of Our Neighbours" is an experimental documentary about Britain's Mass Observation movement and its relationship to contemporary issues regarding surveillance, public self-disclosure, and privacy. Mass Observation was an eccentric social science enterprise founded in the late 1930's in England that combined surrealism with anthropology. The film traces the history of the movement from its inception as a progressive if naive "anthropology of ourselves" in the 1930's through its reincarnation as a civil spy unit during World War II and its eventual emergence as a market research firm in the 1950's. The film also looks at the multiple roles cameras have played in public space, starting in the 1880's, when the introduction of the hand-held camera brought photography out of the studio and into the street, and, for the first time, one could be photographed in public without knowledge or consent. Mass Observation's history is echoed in a range of present-day phenomena from police surveillance to web cams to reality television that points to ways in which our notions of privacy and self-definition have changed.

Winner, Juror's Choice Award, Black Maria Film Festival

Rebecca Baron is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker. Her work has screened widely in international film festivals and media venues including Rotterdam Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Viennale and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her films have received awards at the San Francisco, Black Maria, Montreal, Leipzig, Athens, Onion City, Sinking Creek, KIN and Ann Arbor Film Festivals. Her films explore the complexities of history told through images and the relationship between moving images and still photography. She is the recipient of a 2002 Guggenheim Fellowship. Baron is Associate Dean of the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts where she teaches documentary and experimental film.


* Center for Advanced Visual Studies
* School of Architecture and Planning

* 265 Massachusetts Avenue 3rd floor
* Cambridge MA 02139

* 617 253 4415 v
* 617 253 1660 f

Official Website: http://cavs.mit.edu/calendar.html?id=464%2C470%2C506

Added by rekha6 on February 2, 2007

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