LAME LA KONE/THE HAND THAT KNOWS
HD Video, TRT 61 minutes, 2014
Lame La Kone/The Hand that Knows follows the process of producing a Mauritian frame drum called the ravann with little known methods harkening from the time of slavery. The first film produced in this ‘level’ of Mauritian Kreol, the film works to valorize aspects of music and language, which have been discriminated against because of their African and slave origins. Using mostly pre-industrial methods, the film reflects on the deep need to play this type of music, which was used as a form of solace and resistance from the grinding effects of the slavery. Despite its history, this form of intangible heritage is waning in use today and this film works to safeguard this knowledge.
This work was the basis of my first feature film, which resulted in Drum Speak, adapted for non-Mauritian audiences.
Lame La Kone premiered in Mauritius in June 2014 at Bagatelle for a limited audience. The DVD version will be included in the collaborative book O Ti Le La La E, Ravann, the first historically grounded text of the ravann. The project is slated to launch in July 2016.
After the film received considerable attention from the community, images from Lame La Kone are now in elementary school textbooks, the first time that the ravann has been included in the education system as an important object of cultural heritage.
Images from the project were also included in a dossier sent to UNESCO to protect the musical form, Sega Tipik, of which the ravann is the principal instrument. In 2014, we received word that the application was successful.