One Table Two Elephants: A cinematic ethnography about race, nature and ways of knowing the postcolonial city (84 minutes, Color, HD, Dolby 5:1)

Jacob von Heland, Henrik Ernstson

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"One Table Two Elephants" (Documentary film, cinematic ethnography, 84 minutes, Color, HD, Dolby 5:1). World Premiere In Competition at CPH:DOX 2018 20th March 2018; Official selection at InScience Science Festival, African Premier In Competition at Cape Town International Film Festival 2018, In Competition Tirana International Film Festival 2018. Created in collaboration by Jacob von Heland and Henrik Ernstson. Produced by KTH EHL, African Centre for Cities, UCT, with support from the Swedish Research Council Formas. 
SYNOPSIS: This is a film about bushmen bboys, a flower kingdom and the ghost of a princess. Entering the city through its plants and wetlands, the many-layered, painful and liberating history of the city emerges as we see how biologists, hip hoppers, and wetland activists each searches for ways to craft symbols of unity and cohesion. But this is a fraught and difficult task. Perhaps not even desirable. Plants, aliens, memories and ghosts keep troubling efforts of weaving stories about this place called Cape Town. Situated and grounded in lived experiences across a range of groups, this film follows different ways of knowing and tries to be a vehicle toward difficult yet urgently needed conversations about how race, nature and the city are intertwined in our postcolonial world where history is ever present in subtle and direct ways. This cinematic ethnography brings texture to understand a city like Cape Town, while providing possibilities to translate what is happening “there” to conversations about any city and its surroundings.Created by (i.e., Direction/Production/Manuscript): Jacob von Heland and Henrik Ernstson. Cinematography: Johan von Reybekiel. Sound: Jonathan Chiles. Editing: Jacob von Heland. Assistant Editing: Henrik Ernstson. Sound Design and Mix: Jakob Oldenburg. Production Coordination: Jessica Rattle and Nceba Mangesi. Color grade: Johan von Reybekiel. Original Music: Louise Becker. Graphic Design: Erik Hartin. 
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationStockholm
PublisherKTH Royal Institute of Technology
Media of outputFilm
Size84 minutes
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2018
EventCopenhagen International Documentary Film Festival
: Nordic Dox Award (World Premiere 20 March 2018)
- Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 12 Mar 201825 Mar 2018


  • postcolonial
  • urban political ecology
  • conservation biology
  • Urban studies
  • environmental studies
  • Human Geography

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute


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