EASA2020 logo16th EASA Biennial Conference
New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe
21-24 July 2020 in Lisbon
ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon and ICS-Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon

EASA2020 Lisboa - Film programme

22 accepted films as list 4 days 12 sessions

(Un)Making Memories

Wednesday 22 July
Film Screening + Q/A: 11:00-13:00
LIVE Q/A: 12:35


(Playing for the Ancestors)

2020 | 36’ | China / United States
Manman Yang, Jacob R. Hickman

The global diaspora includes Hmong migrations from China to Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, the United States, France, French Guyana, Australia, Germany, Canada, and Argentina over the last 200 years. As the most iconic and central instrument to traditional rituals performed throughout the global Hmong diaspora, the qeej became the prototypical Hmong instrument. Where there are Hmong, there are qeejs.

The Hmong believe Qeej has the unique power to communicate, to carry messages from the realm of mortal humans all the way to the realm of spirits. Playing the qeej is not merely playing music with various notes and melodies, but rather the songs themselves make up a sort of spirit language.

Shot among the Hmong community alongside the sino-vietnamese border in Yunnan, this film shows the traditional qeej-making skills and the meaning of qeej songs, the spiritual home return song that is playing for the ancestors.