This article considers how the temporality at work in Chick Strand's film Mosori Monika (US, 1970) breaks with the patriarchal, colonial, and capitalist narratives of genealogy, progress, and production. In Mosori Monika, an experimental ethnographic film that documents the swamps of Orinoco River in Venezuela, filmmaker Strand focuses her attention on the interactions between the Spanish Franciscan missionaries who came to the site in 1945 and the Warao who had little to no interaction with the outside world before the missionaries’ appearance. The film shows the competing realities and subjectivities of two women living in the area: a Franciscan nun, Sister Isabel, and an old Warao woman, Carmelita. Unlike the linear “exceptional artist beyond her time” narratives manifest in the recent spur of interest in Strand's body of work, the article explores the contemporary feel of Strand's film in relation to the transnational, cross-cultural, and affective ranges that go unnoticed when the scope of 1970s feminisms is painted in broad brushstrokes. Accordingly, the article emphasizes that Strand's nonteleological approach to history and ethnography in her film at once challenges the colonial, patriarchal gaze and its temporal distanciation and subjugation and invites us to reassess the linear feminist narratives of evolution, progress, and/or loss that often tend to rely on reductive historical periodization. Strand's filmmaking methods and style provide us with an alternative feminist historiographical model, “surfacing,” that highlights the productive resonances between then, now, and possible futures.

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