3rd Prize CID Video Competition: Sahiti Bonam

CID Video CompetitionCID’s first video competition is now over, and the judges have reviewed all the videos. As a reminder, the instructions were to answer the question “What does intercultural dialogue look like?” in 90-120 seconds, on video.

Sahiti Bonam

Third prize goes to Sahiti Bonam, who is a BA student in Visual Studies at Temple University (USA). Her website provides further information about her, and examples of her work.



Title: Accent

Description: “Accent is defined as “a distinctive manner of expression” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. The idea for this project is to question people whether they have an accent or not. I am using video as my medium for this project in order to capture the visuals and sounds of people saying whether or not they have an accent and to label where they are from. I think the idea of my project can be well reflected through video because it allows the viewer to determine whether an accent is a regional concept or a minority vs majority. As a stylistic choice, the video was taken up close of the participant, where only the mouth and nose were visible. The purpose of this was to be in the gray area of anonymity and identity. The bottom of each clip is the place where the participant is from. Some people in the video were my friends and others were completely random. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t guide or push the answers of the participants, so there would be a diversity in opinion.

From a linguistics perspective, everyone has an accent. This project was inspired by one of the lectures in my Intercultural Communication course, where we watched a documentary called “American Tongues”. The documentary was about the various accents of people in USA. My interest was piqued when some people interviewed in the documentary said that they have an accent, need to change their accent depending on their environment, or believe that they don’t have an accent.

I am interested in this topic because I believe that I do have an accent and that my accent changes depending on who I am with. My accent is influenced by the places I have lived and the people I am with. The change in accent and to be understood is called “code-switching”, which is mainly done so that the accent is standardized for the majority of people to understand you or when you are with a specific background of people.”

There were first, second and third place winners, as well as 3 videos that merited awards of excellence. Each of these is being highlighted in a separate post, as they warrant our attention. My thanks to the judges of the competition, professionals who made time to review student videos. Thanks also to all the competitors, who took the time to really think about the question of how to show intercultural dialogue visually.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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