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Tribes try UK life for Channel 4 
18th-Aug-2006 03:26 pm
Tribes from remote parts of the world are to be brought to the UK by Channel 4 for a documentary series.

Reverse Anthropology aims to turn the traditional formula - where a UK film-maker experiences life with distant tribes - on its head.

Members of a tribe of pygmies will take part in a British hunting expedition and report back on their experiences.

Channel 4 deputy head of documentaries Simon Dickson said: "It's about time we turned the mirror on ourselves."

Original article or

Huge challenge

"While we're often baffled and amused by the customs of communities on the other side of the globe, this series will show that some of our rituals - the gym, queuing, getting drunk on a Friday night, golf, showing a lack of respect to our elders - look pretty peculiar to outsiders too," he added.

Channel 4 hopes the series, due to air next year, will act as a counterpoint to programmes like BBC Two's Tribe, which sees Bruce Parry explore different cultures from around the world.

Programme-makers are hoping to take a tribe from the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu to the UK. On one of the islands which makes up Vanuatu, Tanna, locals worship the Duke of Edinburgh as their divine leader.

Series producer Will Anderson, of production company KEO Films, said: "It will be a huge challenge, but if we get it right it will be both highly illuminating and thought-provoking."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2006/08/18 10:04:21 GMT

18th-Aug-2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
This'll be interesting :)
18th-Aug-2006 09:11 pm (UTC)
"locals worship the Duke of Edinburgh as their divine leader"

I wonder if it's a specific duke or just the title.
18th-Aug-2006 10:37 pm (UTC)
I remember reading about that; it's a specific duke.. I think the current one?
18th-Aug-2006 10:56 pm (UTC)
King Regent Edward husband of Queen Elizabeth II (I think that's the correct roman numeral on Elizabeth).
18th-Aug-2006 10:42 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I had just finished posting this article to my own blog. Here is what I said:

I am not sure how I feel about this latest reality TV endeavor. On the one hand, this seems like another terrible and exploitative stunt in a long line of such TV programs. However, on the other hand, it presents a very interesting exercise in viewing our world through the eyes of those whom we usually study. Anthropologists have been living with these groups for years, but what happens when they live with us? What will they think of the purportedly "advanced" western world? Will they want to stay in the UK, or return to their regular lives? And, considering how connected the world is today, will they really be that shocked by what they see? I honestly do not know the answers to these questions, but I can just hope the producers of this show treat everyone involved with dignity and respected.
19th-Aug-2006 12:06 am (UTC)
I think it might be the best damn cure for ethnocentrism the unwashed masses may ever recieve. And a highly amusing foreign vacation for the islanders, which is not to be sneezed at.
19th-Aug-2006 03:10 am (UTC)
Here's the conundrum as I see it. I initially had a knee-jerk reaction that this was exploitive, but then I considered that if it is done tastefully, it might be alirght. Certainly, it won't be any more or less exploitive than when westerners go vacationing to learn about other cultures.

I guess I'll have to wait and see. Or read, rather, as I don't get the BBC.
19th-Aug-2006 04:35 am (UTC)
Ditto...However, one thing I am concerned about is, how will the trip and the exposure to bustling Western culture affect the future of the tribe? Will they continue to revere the Duke of Edinburgh? This is a vastly different scenario from strange visitors, and misunderstandings in circumstances where a group is cut off from their usual means of support can become larger in scope then they really should. I doubt the TV crew would really know how to deal with it, or desire to treat it with the time amd patience it requires. I think it should be done, and the cultural exchange would be extremely beneficial, but I think it should be done carefully, patiently, and diplomatically (non-sensationalist). I doubt it will be.
17th-Jul-2008 05:33 am (UTC)
  Funnily enough, it really split my book group, with some people really not enjoying it and others agreeing with me that it was an amazing achievement.
11th-Feb-2014 06:00 am (UTC)
Hello. I was searching the Web on the documentaries about tribes and found that article on the BBC site. Now it is very interesting to me whether they managed to make any film about those pygmies travelling around the UK. Is there any film as a result? Please, give me just its name and I`ll find the rest.

Edited at 2014-02-11 06:01 am (UTC)
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