Framing the Other
(25 min) Ethiopia/Netherlands
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Saturday 10/26, 11:45 AM (Session 28)

Director/Producer: Willem Timmers, Ilja Kok


The Mursi tribe lives in the basin of the Omo River in the south of the east-African state of Ethiopia. The women are known for placing large plates in their lower lips and wearing enormous, richly decorated earrings. Every year, hundreds of Western tourists come to see the unusually adorned natives; posing for camera-toting visitors has become the main source of income for the Mursi. To make more money, they embellish their "costumes" and finery in such a manner that less of their original culture remains. The film contrasts the views of Mursi women and those of Dutch tourists preparing for a meeting. This humorous but chilling film shows the destructive impact tourism has on traditional communities.


Ilja Kok works as a producer at I Camera You productions. She is also a lecturer and coordinator in tourism studies and has worked as a tour guide in various countries in the past. The encounters that arise from these tours have triggered her to deepen her knowledge on relationships within tourism. The production of Framing the Other contributed to her ambition of creating awareness about the interactions between tourism hosts and guests. Furthermore, by presenting the film as a teaching tool in classrooms, she combined her three passions of tourism, teaching and filmmaking.

Willem Timmers works as a director and editor at I Camera You productions. He also works as a freelance camera journalist and videographer and has been a tour guide in Ethiopia in the past. He organized excursions for tour groups to amongst others, the Mursi people. The production of Framing the Other has contributed to a better understanding of the complex relationships between tourists and "the other." As a result, subsequent film productions attach great value to the importance of respectful and fair representations of others.

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