Society For Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (SVAFMF) is looking for pre-screeners to preview this year’s film submissions and provide the festival jury with feedback that we will use to make programing decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for you to have a sneak peak at some of this year’s submissions and to participate in programming for the festival. Being a pre-screener entails watching one or more feature length submissions online (from the comfort of your home or office), and providing us with a descriptive feedback on each film assigned to you (using our standard questionnaire). As a pre-screener you will be thanked by name in our festival program and (if you want) you will also be given the opportunity to chair a film program of your choice. All pre-screener evaluations are due by Sunday, May 29, 2016. The criteria to be a pre-screener includes:
– Pre-screeners must be active members of AAA
– Pre-screeners must keep all entries and evaluations confidential
– Pre-screeners must not have an film entry in this year’s festival
– Pre-screeners must commit to viewing and evaluating their assigned films by the May 29deadline (or give us an advance notice if they are unable to fulfill their assignments)
To sign up to be a pre-screener for this year’s festival, simply send an email at your earliest convenience with SUBJECT: “Pre-screener sign up,” and the following information in the BODY of the email: your full name, institutional affiliation,andthe number of film you are interested in pre-screening to: email@example.com
Please circulate, and please reply ASAP!
Ulla D. Berg
2016 SVA Film and Media Festival
Zoe Bray presents at the 2015 Visual Research Conference in Denver, CO.
The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Visual Research Conference will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota this year, November 14-16, at the beginning of the American Anthropological Association meeting. An informal no-host dinner takes place on Monday night and interactive presentations take place all day Tuesday and until 3pM on Wednesday. The Visual Research Conference provides an opportunity for professionals and students to dialogue about visually engaged works-in-progress. There are no specific themes to follow, though we are most interested in new ideas and projects under development in the study of visual signification, visual communication, and visual forms of representation, and/or utilizing visual media (photo, film, web, polymedia, intermedia). Forty-five minute time slots allow for substantive presentations that include viewing of visual material as well as ample give-and-take with an actively participating audience. Further discussion takes place during poster presentations. Many informal discussion periods between the interactive formal presentations, plus conversations at lunch and dinner, create multiple situations for networking and exchange of ideas. Members and non-members of the American Anthropological Association and Society for Visual Anthropology are welcome and there is no charge to attend. This is a productive way to meet and interact with others who do anthropological and anthropologically-related visual research.
PLEASE NOTE: this Visual Research Conference submission deadline on April 1 is EARLIER than the American Anthropological Association’s Annual Meeting submission deadline on April 15, so that the Visual Research Conference organizing committee has time to carefully review the submissions and invite the 2016 presenters. The Visual Research Conference is not the SVA Film and Media Festival, so if you want to screen a film, please refer to that link and submission.
In the midst of this boom of writing and thinking and worrying about the end of the world brought on by anthropogenic climate catastrophes, Ethnographic Terminalia presents Aeolian Politics. It is indeed the end of time for glaciers that have withstood thousands of years, cycling through periods of freeze and thaw. It is the end of time for entire species extinguished at such an alarming rate that even the most hardened observer of the ‘news’ must be a little shaken and perturbed.
It is in this moment that we have enthusiastically collaborated with Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer to translate their work, Aeolian Politics, into an exhibition. We all inhabit the weather world, regardless of the little shelters built to insulate us from the elements. The banal familiarity of the seasons as they wash over us no longer require studied effort to estrange them. Strange weather is here. The force of this world—which we re-engineered through centuries of mining, fossil-fuel burning, over-fishing, agro-industrial growth, and so on—imposes itself upon our everyday so that we must make a constant effort to make the strange familiar and pretend that everything will be okay. At times the veneer of a stable and predictable life seems terribly thin.
We welcome you to explore the Windhouse, a gallery within a gallery, caught up in an airy torrent of wind politics where the materiality of Zapotec words invoke the weird familiarity of wind in the weather world.
The Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) invites applications for Co- Directors for the annual SVA Film and Media Festival (SVAF&MF). This is a 3- year position that will begin after the end of the 2015 meetings (December 2015) and continues until the end of the 2018 Meetings (with the option of serving a reduced 2-year term through 2017). Ideally, the terms will be coordinated so that there will be some overlap between terms by current and new co-editors.
The Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film & Media Festival is the premier venue for screening ethnographic film and media showcasing works by students, professional anthropologists, and documentary filmmakers from around the world. Each year the festival is held during the
American Anthropological Association’s (AAA) annual conference.
SVAF&MF is a three and half day event that begins on Wednesday afternoon and concludes on Saturday evening of the AAA meetings. SVAF&MF co- directors work with the SVA board and jury, comprised of anthropologists and filmmakers to make programing decisions and select films to be included in the festival each year on the basis of ethnographic relevance, production quality and contribution to the field of anthropology.
Qualifications of SVAF&MF co-directors include:
A proven background in fields related to Visual Anthropology and Ethnographic Film.
Proven organizational skills, especially in managing events and coordinating presentations and Q&A sessions (i.e. workshops, conferences, and/or visual exhibitions).
Familiarity with the technologies associated with online screening and assessment as well as film festival exhibition (Vimeo, Youtube, Dropbox, Google Doc, Handbreak, WithoutaBox and Film Freeway, (MOV.) QuickTime, iTunes).
Familiarity with the canon of Ethnographic Film in the American tradition.
Contract with the film festival hosting site (WithoutABox or Film Freeway) to renew and update the festival account and submission listing (Jan).
Work with the S V A board members to solicit submissions through annual calls for entries (Deadlines include – Early: Feb 15; Regular: March 15; Late: April 15).
Organize pre-screening of films. Digitize DVDs and digital media that are submitted into an online format (currently Vimeo) suitable for prescreening and jurying. Create ranking database.
Appoint the SVAF&MF Jury in consultation with the SVA board.
Manage S V AF&MF Gmail mailbox
Send pre-screening notes and assignments to SVAF&MF Jury.
Coordinate the hosting of the jury meetings and works with SVAPresident and the SVAF&MF jury to coordinate the 3-day jurying of films (June).
Determine prizewinners with jury; notify winner and assist withcoordination of travel plans with filmmakers attending the festival and award presentations with SVA Board.
ScheduletheSVAFilm&MediaFestivalinconsultationwithSVAprogramming Committee for room availability/requirements andtechnology needs.
10.Create program (collate synopsis, press materials and film stills into one master document). Advertise for the film festival via email and social media. Work with SVA website manager to upload the program and trailers on the SVA website.
11.Manage the collection of final exhibition prints – digitize all prints into MOV. QuickTime Film. Procure a laptop and hard drives to store and screen film during the festival and organize the digital films according to the program.
12.Organize staffing (projectionist and program manager) for all three days of the film festival itself at the Annual Meetings of the AAA. Coordinate facilitators for the Q&A session with filmmakers in attendance.
13.Manage budget in consultation with SVA Treasurer, including costs for jurying, technical support, staff, travel awards, and advertising.
The SVAF&MF Co-Directors should commit to the following work effort:
Two to three hours a week from January to early March for festival planning/preparation.
Three to four hours a week from mid-March to April for festival related communications, database preparation.
Five to six hours a week in April and May for pre-screening communications, data input, etc.
Three weeks in June for jurying preparation and jurying hosting.
Four to five hours a week from July to September for conference andfilm festival coordination and planning, communicating with filmmakers and AAA programming committee, and to prepare an annual report for the SVA Board.
At least twelve hours a week in October and early November for festival coordination and planning.
At least several days immediately before, during and after the AAA annual meeting for festival management. (Past co-directors found that at least half of every day at the annual meeting was used in festival related activities). Co-directors should expect to arrive at the AAA meetings one day early (Tuesday) and stay until Sunday; they are also expected to attend the SVA Board Meeting as well as the SVA Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony.
SVA Film and Media Festival Director is a voluntary position and does not receive direct compensation for time or effort. The SVA Board will reimburse expenses directly related to film festival upon approval. Jurying travel and meal expenses are covered by the SVA. Film Festival co-directors’ attendance at the AAA annual meeting is required and reimbursed (up to $1500 total to be shared between the two co-directors).
For further information or to submit application by September 30th 2015 (please include letter of interest, detailing qualifications and current CV) email SVA President-Elect Stephanie Takaragawa : Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Society For Visual Anthropology Film and Media Festival (SVAFMF) is looking for pre-screeners to preview this year’s film submissions and provide the festival jury with feedback that we will use to make programing decisions. This is an exciting opportunity for you to have a sneak peak at some of this year’s submissions and to participate in programming for the festival. Being a pre-screener entails watching one or more feature length submissions online (from the comfort of your home or office), and providing us with a descriptive feedback on each film assigned to you (using our standard questionnaire). As a pre-screener you will be thanked by name in our festival program and (if you want) you will also be given the opportunity to chair a film program of your choice. All pre-screener evaluations are due by Friday, MAY 22rd 2015. The criteria to be a pre-screener includes:
– Pre-screeners must be active members of AAA
– Pre-screeners must keep all entries and evaluations confidential
– Pre-screeners must not have an film entry in this year’s festival
– Pre-screeners must commit to viewing and evaluating their assigned films by the May 22rd deadline (or give us an advance notice if they are unable to fulfill their assignments)
To sign up to be a pre-screener for this year’s festival, simply send an email with SUBJECT: “Pre-screener sign up,” and the following information in the BODY of the email: your full name, institutional affiliation,andthe number of film you are interested in pre-screening to email@example.com
Please circulate, and please reply ASAP!
Ulla D. Berg
2015 SVA Film and Media Festival
The SVA welcomes a variety of individual paper and session proposals for consideration at this year’s Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (November 18-22, 2015). The theme for the meeting is “Familiar Strange,” which provides a rich context for exploring the innovative and exciting work conducted under the broad rubric of visual anthropology.
For the 2015 Annual Meeting, the SVA programming committee consists of:
Susan and Fiona are more than happy to work with you on your paper, poster, or roundtable sessions. We are happy to assist session organizers with the structuring of their proposals. The SVA encourages innovative formats, including poster sessions, extended screening of visual materials, and fostering more dynamic discussion periods. For all submissions, participants must abide by the AAA rules regarding roles, registration, deadlines, and fees. No exceptions.
There a many different ways for members to participate in the AAA meetings through the SVA. All submissions are due April 15, 2015 unless otherwise indicated. The online abstract submission system opens for all proposal types on February 18, 2015.
Here are the types of submissions possible:
Panels and Sessions
Executive Panels (Due Feb 17: theonline application system is currently open)
Section Invited Sessions (Due April 15)
Volunteered Sessions (Due April 15)
Individually Volunteered Papers &Posters
Public Policy Forums
Section Invited & Volunteered Roundtables
Visit here for a description of each submission type:
Volunteered Papers/Posters/Roundtables/Sessions – Due April 15, 2015
To submit a session, go to AAA website and follow the links to the call for papers. A session abstract of up to 500 words is required. Meeting registration forms and fees must be submitted for each participant. Submission deadline is 5:00 pm EST (10:00 pm GMT) April 15, 2015. Be sure to indicate if you wish the SVA to review your submission.
SVA Sponsored Session Proposals – Due April 15, 2015 online
This includes all paper and poster sessions, roundtable proposals, and individual paper/poster submissions. All Invited Session Proposals (paper or poster sessions) must include a session abstract of up to 500 words and information for all participants (including individual abstracts and any technical needs for your session). Submission will be through the AAA website. We highly encourage anyone planning to submit an invited session proposal to contact us ASAP, ideally by March 1, 2015.
Media Submissions—Due April 15, 2015
SVA continues to welcome interactive media work and also encourages short work that is under 15 minutes. DVD formats are acceptable. Submitted materials will not be returned.
Installations – Due April 15, 2015 onlinethrough the AAA Programming Committee
Installations invite anthropological knowledge off the beaten path of the written conference paper. Presenters may propose performances, recitals, conversations, author-meets-critic roundtables, salon reading workshops, oral history recording sessions and other alternative, creative forms of intellectual expression for consideration. Selected Installations will be curated for off-site exhibition and tied to the official AAA conference program.
2015 SVA Film and Media Festival Submissions – Due April 15, 2015
The SVA Film and Media Festival encourage the submission of short works (under 30 minutes), feature-length ethnographic films, and interactive media. Awards will be given to the best works in a number of categories, including student films and short films. Festival submissions open February 1, 2015. Early-bird discounts for March 15, 2015. The regular submission deadline is April 15, 2015. Late-deadline is May 1, 2015. Please check the SVA Film and Media Festival Without A Box submission page for complete details (including information on where to send your previews).
Contacts: Tom Blakely (firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to email@example.com)
Andrea Heckman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jerome Crowder (email@example.com)
The SVA Visual Research Conference provides a collegial environment for the presentation of works-in-progress. This Conference especially emphasizes much interaction among the presenters and an “actively participating audience”, and anyone interested is welcome to attend. The Visual Research Conference will take place November 16-18 (Monday 7pm no-host dinner; Tuesday 9am-6pm, Wednesday 9am-3pm).
The Oscar-nominated director Joshua Oppenheimer will be attending the AAA Annual Meetings to screen two films and discuss his tactics of challenging Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of the American movies they love. The Act of Killing, his first major film, is “an important exploration of the complex psychology of mass murderers” in the words of Chris Hedges. “It is not the demonized, easily digestible caricature of a mass murderer that most disturbs us. It is the human being.” “The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit,” in the words of critics. Oppenheimer will be showing the Director’s Cut of this film, which is rarely screened in the U.S., and will be offering an exclusive advanced preview screening of his latest film, The Look of Silence.
Free screenings will take place at the Marriott Wardman Park, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20008.
THURSDAY, December 4th
4:30 PM – 7:30 PM (Marriott Ballroom): Exclusive Screening: The Act of Killing Director’s Cut (159 min) followed by Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer. Free and open to the public.
SUNDAY, December 7th
9:30 AM – 12:00 PM (Marriott Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North and East) Advanced Preview Screening of The Look of Silence (99 min) followed by Q&A with director Joshua Oppenheimer, Joseph Saunders (Human Rights Watch), and Max White (Amnesty International), facilitated by Eben Kirksey. Open to AAA members. RSVP required for members of the public.
SUNDAY, December 7th
12:00 PM-1:45 PM (Marriott Thurgood Marshall Ballroom North and East) AAA Panel: Ethnographic Tactics
The Act of Killing
Nominated in the “Best Documentary” category for the 2013 Academy Awards, The Act of Killing (2012) has generated extensive debate across a multiple fields for its troubling subject matter, uncanny approach, and uncomfortable conclusions about memory, filmmaking, as well as the human capacity for empathy. This special event will feature a screening of the film followed by a Q&A session with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer. The Act of Killing poses unique questions and challenges to anthropologists, including the role and function of fiction in ethnographic and documentary productions (whether textual or visual), approaches to understanding memory and traumatic experience, and the critical distances (or closeness) between engagement and collaboration. The film itself has generated much praise and criticism since its release, particularly regarding reenactment as a mode of reflection and response in documentary film. This special screening of the Director’s Cut, the uncut version of the film as it was released in almost all countries apart from the US, “gains in depth, taking you into a vortex of fever dreams, pulling you deep inside the nightmares of the protagonists,” according to Werner Herzog. “You find yourself drawn irrevocably into the darkest souls, and time acquires a different role, as if you and the world had stopped breathing. The shorter version is trimmed down mostly to emphasize its political content, but Joshua Oppenheimer’s film is much more than a political documentary. It is a masterpiece of filmmaking, full of depth, surrealism, and stunning silences that will outlive the political message.” The Q&A session, facilitated by Eben Kirksey, will explore anthropological concerns on the complicated nexus of fiction, reality, and representation. Joshua Oppenheimer will also present an exclusive advanced preview screening of his new film, The Look of Silence, and participate in a panel discussion about “Ethnographic Tactics” on Sunday. Screening presented in partnership with Film Platform and with support from the Committee on World Anthropologies.
“One of the greatest and most powerful documentaries ever made,” according to Errol Morris. “A profound comment on the human condition.” “The Act of Killing was about the mechanisms of moral delusion, mass-murderers escaping the implications of their pasts by turning them into performance,” writes The Telegraph, “but The Look of Silence connects the dots back up, and turns the focus back on culpability and complicity…while Oppenheimer’s Oscar-nominated 2013 picture showed the death squads’ leaders gleefully re-enacting the butchery in a series of surreal, ghoulish theatrical tableaux, this second film zooms in close, finding unfolding fractal patterns of horror-within-horror in the story of a single victim’s plight.” A family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered and the identity of the men who killed him. The youngest brother is determined to break the spell of silence and fear under which the survivors live, and so confronts the men responsible for his brother’s murder – something unimaginable in a country where killers remain in power. “The Look of Silence,” writes the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, “is a poem about a silence borne of terror – a poem about the necessity of breaking that silence, but also about the trauma that comes when silence is broken. Nothing will wake the dead. We must stop, acknowledge the lives destroyed, strain to listen to the silence that follows.” The Look of Silence has not yet been released in US theaters and this exclusive screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Joshua Oppenheimer and a panel discussion on “Ethnographic Tactics” (12:00 PM-2:00 PM) featuring comments by Natasha Myers (York University) and Andrea Ballestero (Rice University). Screening presented in partnership with Film Platform and with support from the Committee on World Anthropologies.
Ethnographers are stealing tricks and tools from lawyers, artists, historians, film makers, and biologists. We are also pushing the bounds of the political with performative interventions. In order to study elusive facets of power, anthropologists and allied culture workers are adding new tactics to the tool kit of ethnography. Tactical interventions for Michel de Certeau (1984), involve using texts and artifacts in creative and rebellious ways, constantly manipulating events and seizing opportunities on the wing. The Tactical Media movement of the 1990s in the arts, whose heroes included the prankster, the hacker, and “the camcorder kamikaze,” drew on de Certeau’s ideas to develop an aesthetic of poaching and tricking (Garcia and Lovink 1997). Cheap Do It Yourself (DIY) media—consumer electronics and laboratory equipment—enabled artists in this movement to interrogate political, economic, and ethical questions by designing video games, setting up elaborate hoaxes, and even creating their own genetically modified organisms (Marcus 2000, da Costa and Philip 2008, Raley 2009, Fortun 2012). Ethnographers have become infected by the DIY ethos and are dabbling in new fields as amateurs (de-skilling) and acquiring new specialized training (re-skilling) to responsibly enter new domains (Bishop 2011). This panel will showcase a range of new tactics available to anthropologists by bringing ethnographers into conversation with scholars in allied disciplines as well as creative practitioners. Dehlia Hannah, a philosopher, will chronicle her participation in a “performative experiment” which involved staging an outdated pregnancy test (involving a live Xenopus frog) to get us thinking and speaking differently about gender, multispecies entanglements, and the social epistemology of laboratory protocols. Eben Kirksey will depart from insights about “tactical biopolitics” gleaned from bioartists at The Multispecies Salon, an art exhibit, to reframe anthropology’s engagements with the natural sciences. Nicholas Shapiro will talk about the ethnographic tactics he developed at the intersection of chemistry, art, and biology to track toxic domestic ecosystems from the FEMA trailers after Hurricane Katrina to tightly-sealed high-end green homes in Silicon Valley. The Oscar-nominated director, Joshua Oppenheimer, will discuss how he had perpetrators of mass murder reenact their crimes for his film, the Act of Killing. Ryan Shapiro, a historian and transparency activist, will describe how he has used Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as a tactic to learn about FBI surveillance practices of animal rights advocates and environmental activists. If anthropology was once in an “experimental moment” with cultural critique (Marcus and Fischer 1986), the presentations on this panel will describe emergent modes of experimental practice at the intersection of art, science, and politics.
The Bureau of Memories: Archives and Ephemera is a thematic reflection on the archive and its discontents. Washington’s identity as the seat of American political power is amplified through its role as the locus of its own memorialization. Where there is history, there is haunting. By drawing on the archive’s unnerving, uncanny, and ephemeral specters, this exhibition is an effort to re-imagine and reposition archives as sites which not only have the capacity to produce and contest historical memory, but also generate significant gaps and blind spots.
Ethnographic Terminalia 2014: Washington, D.C. The Bureau of Memories: Archives and Ephemera
Opening Reception: Friday, December 5th, 7-10 PM
Exhibition December 3rd-7th, 2014
1847 Columbia Road, NW (Downstairs) Washington, D.C. 20009
Ethnographic Terminalia is a curatorial collective grounded in a commitment to pushing the boundaries of anthropological scholarship and contemporary art through interdisciplinary exhibitions. Since 2009 we have been curating group exhibitions in major North American cities (Philadelphia, New Orleans, Montréal, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago). These projects demonstrate how contemporary artists, anthropologists, and institutions are engaging with ethnographic methodologies and art. The majority of the exhibitions have been mounted as ‘para-sites’ or ‘off-site installations’ to the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association. They have facilitated and championed works that explore new media, new locations, and new methods in anthropology and cultural studies. The collective has worked with more than 110 artists and anthropologists to date, generating ongoing creative collaboration between anthropological researchers and practicing artists. Our exhibitions and the works in them have been widely reviewed and publicized in both discipline-specific journals and the popular press.
The Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) is a section of the American Anthropological Association. We promote the study of visual representation and media. Both research methods and teaching strategies fall within the scope of the society. SVA members are involved in all aspects of production, dissemination, and analysis of visual forms. Works in film, video, photography, and computer-based multimedia explore signification, perception, and communication-in-context, as well as a multitude of other anthropological and ethnographic themes.