DER Filmmaker – Rina Sherman

Rina Sherman

  • Rina Sherman is a researcher, writer, filmmaker, photographer and exhibition curator. She studied with Jean Rouch, under whose supervision she completed a doctorate with distinction at the Sorbonne in 1989.

    A recipient of the Villa Médicis Hors les Murs prize and the Lavoisier bursary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the support of the Ford Foundation and of numerous European representations, she undertook a seven-year fieldwork study of Ovahimba and other Otjiherero speaking communities in Namibia and Angola.

    From the body of filmed and photographic images and sound recordings that she constituted during that time, she has produced films, books, multimedia exhibitions and photographic collections. This part of the Fonds Rina Sherman Files is held by the National Library of France, who showcased the exhibition, The Ovahimba Years / Rina Sherman in 2015.

    Rina Sherman’s pluridisciplinary body of work includes a collection of cine-portraits, Voices, Meetings with Remarkable People, including among others, Delfeil De Ton, Margo Rouard-Snowman, Jacques Blamont, Michel Zink, Bernard Esambert, Andres Serrano, J. P. Donleavy, Rhoda Scott, Alain Gheerbrant, François Roustang, grand portraits, “Witnesses of our Times”, with works in progress about Jean Rouch, Claude Mollard, Michou, Jean Widmer… her work on dance in Africa, her early art films, and her recent collection of slow cinema moving tableaux, “Cities & Elsewhere”.

    Rina Sherman has published several books, of which, En Partance (2021), Le Huitième mort de Tibherine (2007), Ma vie avec les Ovahimba (2020, rev. 2nd ed.). She created k éditeur, and in 2020 she published Paysages & Transfiguration / Philippe Ciaparra. In 2018, she published Dans le sillage of Jean Rouch (In the Wake of Jean Rouch) as scientific director, EMSH, 2nd revised edition to be published in 2023.

    As a curator, Rina Sherman has participated in numerous cultural projects: In 1995, she was audiovisual curator for « Afrique du Sud : Musiques de la liberté » (South Africa: Music of Freedom) at La Villette, Paris. In 1996, she was curator of Jean Rouch’s tour of South African universities in collaboration with the French Institute in South Africa (IFAS) and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in Namibia.

    In 2002, she presented a first transversal exhibition of her work, The Ovahimba Years: Work in progress, at the Franco-Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek. In 2018, a retrospective of Rina Sherman’s films was held at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, with two programs, “Life in the City” and “The Ovahimba Years”.

    Rina Sherman lectures and teaches : the School of Sound International Symposium, Southbank Centre, London, 2019, Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac, L’ethnologie va vous surprendre ! 4th Ed. Femmes de terrain, 2019, Musée d’ethnographie de Genève, conference at the exhibition : Afrique, les religions de l’extase, 2018.

    Rina Sherman’s projects have received support from various Ministries in France, of which, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of culture, the National Centre for Cinema, various EU Embassies (UK, Germany, Spain), The Ford Foundation, the Pompidou Centre, and numerous private sponsors.

    Rina Sherman’s films and books feature in the collections of major academic and public libraries and museums in the USA and Europe.