Karen Boswall is a filmmaker and visual anthropologist. She lived and worked in Mozambique as a journalist and documentary filmmaker between 1990 and 2007, focusing in particular on issues of conflict-driven migration and internal displacement and post-conflict reconciliation, resettlement and reintegration. Her award-winning films and BBC radio documentaries explore the spiritual, cultural and environmental worlds of individuals, families and communities both during and after the war in Mozambique. Upon returning to the UK in 2007 she taught Visual Anthropology and Film and Television at the University of Kent (2008–2009) and Canterbury Christ Church University (2010–2014). She is currently a CHASE scholar in the Film and Anthropology departments at the University of Sussex and is conducting her PhD research in Mozambique with young film-makers exploring new decolonial and gendered research, production and distribution models.
Karen worked as a sound-recordist, composer, musical director and sound designer in London (1986-1990) and in Mozambique (1990-1996) before becoming a correspondent of the BBC World service until 1997 when she began directing her own films.
Her first film in Mozambique was “Living Battles” (Promarte 52 mins 1998,) filmed soon after the end of the 16 year Civil War, and then “From the Ashes” (Cinelandia 26 mins, 1999). Both films followed the theme of post conflict resolution and the psychology of War and Peace.
In 2000 Karen established her own production company, Catembe Producoes Lda and produced and directed a number of films including “Dancing on the Edge” (46m ARTE/ZDF/YLE/ABC Steps for the Future) and “Marrabentando: The Stories My Guitar Sings”, (52m RTP) She also encouraged young talents in Mozambique producing the films of others including “True Friends” (4x5m Steps for the Future), “Marrabentando in Gaza” (2 x12m) “A Dugong’s Tale” (12m) and “Em Perigo” (52m & 3 x 26m).
In 2007 Karen retuned to the UK and has been combining researching, film-making, teaching and playing music for the past decade. The films she has directed can be found on her vimeo showcase Karen Boswall. Showcases can also be found for films she has more recently produced, such as the film series Speak My Sister, which forms part of her PhD research, or that have been produced out of her intensive film courses in Nepal, Brazil, Mozambique and with ethnographic researchers and humanities researchers in the UK.
Karen Boswall is also a saxaphone player, composer and cultural promoter.
This website has not been updated for some time (since I begun my PhD in 2016) as the hosts have long ceased updating the platform and it seemed more appropriate to update the website at the end of the PhD. However, the hosts will cease functioning in May and the website will be taken off line on May 27th 2020. These circumstances require urgent action and so watch this space for a total website overhaul by the end of May 2020. In the meantime, as links to Vimeo and youtube are no longer supported by the site, please copy and paste the following links to see Vimeo Showcases for more recent work:
https://vimeo.com/showcase/7070434 (For all authored films including the most recent - a covid-19 pre-release )
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6686325 (For Speak My Sister Film Series)