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All Announcements Archives - Society for Visual Anthropology

Kate Hennessy

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December 22, 2016

Announcing Writing with Light – an anthropological photo-essay initiative

December 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Writing with Light is an initiative to bolster the place of the photo-essay—and, by extension, formal experimentation—within international anthropological scholarship. As a collaboration between two journals published by the American Anthropological Association (AAA), Cultural Anthropology and Visual Anthropology ReviewWriting with Light is led by an editorial/curatorial collective that aims to address urgent and important concerns about the sustained prominence of multimodal scholarship and how that changes what anthropologists can and should see as productive knowledge. This initiative addresses as a central concern the development of appropriate criteria for evaluating these forms of multimodal scholarship. By focusing on the singular form of the photo-essay, we aim to interrogate the synergistic combination of images and words, while also considering the photo-essay’s narrative affordances and its capacity to go beyond storytelling. In sum, we believe that focused attention on the photo-essay might help us to rethink a broader array of anthropological questions regarding issues of mediation, representation, methodology, etc. and and potentially shift how anthropologists conceive of the discipline itself

For submission guidelines, please visit: https://culanth.org/photo_essays
Aynur Kadir

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November 27, 2016

InDigital Latin America Conference II

November 27, 2016 | By | No Comments

March 16-18, 2017 Save the Date

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InDigital Latin America Conference II

                                                                      Media as Witness: photograph by Krakrax Kayapó, 2015.

Location: Vanderbilt University Campus, Nashville TN.

Co-Sponsored by Vanderbilt University and Middle Tennessee State University

 

Indigenous Engagement with Digital and Electronic Media

The study of Indigenous media is a relatively new and rapidly expanding field combining innovative research in anthropology with theoretical perspectives from media studies. Currently the field is evolving at such a “dizzying” rate that it is nearly impossible to keep track of all the innovations, novel applications, and sociocultural impacts transpiring. We invite researchers and media makers to join us to share and discuss these rapid changes in Indigenous media with a focus on Latin America.

 

Call for Abstracts

untitled0000We are interested in a variety of topics and approaches (ranging from viewer/user agency to media effects), including, but not limited to how different groups may engage and be impacted by media as they:

 

  • Watch, interpret, or create television messages
  • Fashion, comprehend, and interact with radio texts
  • Construct and view their own cultural representations on film and upload them to the Internet
  • Build websites to archive culture materials
  • Construct social networks in cyberspace among themselves and other groups
  • Utilize cell phones to not only communicate but also film in culturally appropriate manners
  • Preserve disappearing languages
  • Encourage intergenerational dialog and cultural transmission
  • Record events for political leverage
  • Explore new marketing or consumption opportunities
  • Are simply expressive and creative in conceptualization of cultural identity through media

 

Keynote Speaker: Amalia Córdova (Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s Film and Video Center and New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies)

Conference discussants: Elizabeth Weatherford (Smithsonian) and Faye Ginsburg (NYU)

 

We welcome presentations on:

     Institutional analysis of Indigenous media (e.g. the evolution of traditional and new spaces and platforms for expression of Indigenous concerns, the impact of transnational networking with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples);

 

     Textual analysis (e.g. content analysis of themes, genres, representations, as well as current thinking on authenticity of Indigenous media in terms of hybridity and indigeneity); and

 

     Audience/reception studies (e.g. the dynamics of media engagement and consumption in local communities in terms of technological constraints, issues of ownership and access, signification of technology as material object and communication modality, displacement of public activities, creation of new habits of spectatorship, and impact upon worldviews).

 

 

Several special sessions are planned to:

Showcase Indigenous films (screenings by Kayapó filmmakers and others)

Explore the emergence of hybrid music forms (including performances of Kaya-pop and Mayan hip-hop)

Commemorate the contributions of the late Terence Turner to Indigenous Media

Explore the emergence of a Pan-American Indigenous media exchange (the Inuit-Latin American connection).

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Kiabieti Kayapó (left) and Terence Turner (right)

at InDigital Latin America I, 2015

 

Registration and Transportation/Lodging information may be found on the conference website.

my.vanderbilt.edu/indigitalconference2017

 

For more information, please contact Richard Pace

richard.pace@mtsu.edu

 

Aynur Kadir

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November 10, 2016

LIVE Broadcast Premiere of “T​ashi’s Turbine”​ on PBS WORLD Channel

November 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

With wind, there is light in darkness. The remote Nepalese village of Nyamdok is without electricity, and therefore the residents suffer without light and the life that comes with it. Friends Tashi and Jeevan are on a mission to build wind turbines with what limited resources they have in the harsh conditions of the Himalayas so that opportunities are created for the community. Will the lightbulb flicker on? A mitabh Joshi’ s “ Tashi’s Turbine” premieres on #DocWorld Sunday, Nov. 13 at 10/9c, only on WORLD Channel. #TashisTurbine http://bit.ly/DW_TTurbine

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Stream the premiere of TASHI’S TURBINE via WORLD Channel’s Facebook this Sunday, November 13th at 10/9c. Joining us will be filmmaker Amitabha Joshi and special guest Tashi Bista — they’ll be answering your questions throughout the live stream.

TASHI’S TURBINE is a Vacant Light production. The film is funded by the Center for Asian American Media, through support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Aynur Kadir

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November 10, 2016

A PITCH SESSION FOR ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMMAKERS: DEVELOPING YOUR STORY, INTEGRATING YOUR RESEARCH, FINDING FUNDING AND DISTRIBUTION

November 10, 2016 | By | No Comments

REGISTER NOW for NEW SVA WORKSHOP at AAA!

THURSDAY, 11/17, 1 – 5pm, SVA WORKSHOP # 3-0700

Are you interested in using film for conveying your anthropological research or reaching new audiences? Watch others pitch their projects, think about your own film, learn strategies for funding and distribution and join the discussion.

 

Workshop: A PITCH SESSION FOR ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMMAKERS:

DEVELOPING YOUR STORY, INTEGRATING YOUR RESEARCH, FINDING FUNDING AND DISTRIBUTION

 

Six filmmakers have been selected from an open call to pitch their work-in-progress to a jury of funders, distributors and award winning filmmakers. Following a seven minute pitch, each filmmaker will receive feedback from the jury and audience on the effectiveness of the pitch and the substance of the film project – including strategies for visualizing anthropological content and suggestions for developing narrative and structure. Jury and audience awards will be given.

Following the Pitch session, Leslie Aiello, from the Wenner-Gren Foundation will make a brief presentation about the Fejos Ethnographic Film Fellowship.

To participate, you must register for workshop #3-0700; $20 student, $40 nonstudent

JURY

Alice Apley, Executive Director, Documentary Educational Resources (DER)

Sarah Elder, Director, DRUMS OF WINTER; Prof. Doc. Film, SUNY Buffalo

Seth Kramer, Director, THE ANTHROPOLOGIST, Ironbound Films

Camilla Nielsson, Filmmaker/Anthropologist, Director, DEMOCRATS

PITCHING PROJECTS

THE BURNING: AN UNTOLD STORY FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIGRANT CRISIS

Writer/Director/Producer/Editor – Isabella Alexander

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Synopsis – This character-driven documentary follows the journeys of Phino, Yasmineno, and a boy called Bambino. It invites audiences inside a hidden refugee crisis unfolding on the other side of Europe’s borders. Morocco is the primary crossing point for all Africans fleeing war and poverty in their home countries, but for the past decade, Europe has been working against international human rights conventions to mold Morocco into the final destination for all African migrations north. Brutally beaten back by guards at every attempted crossing, hundreds of thousands who have burned their pasts in hopes of a better future now find themselves trapped only miles from their dream.

 

»PLAGUE OVER DENMARK«

An ethnographic film about radicalization, contagion, and healing with Danish Muslims at the Grimhøj-mosque

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Directed by: Christian Suhr

Produced by: Persona Film / Eye & Mind

Synopsis: Between 2009-2012 I studied and filmed the healing practices of Muslims in my hometown Aarhus, Denmark, not knowing that only few years later the community would be described by politicians at the highest level of government as “a plague over Denmark,” “a dark Islamic force,” “a violence- and death glorifying cult,” “who preaches messages about hatred,” and who “spreads messages which aim at undermining our democracy.” This film is about the spread of hatred and fear; about conversations that should be possible, but seem increasingly impossible; and about how Feisal, Abu Bilal, and Abu Hassan—three of my closest informants—manoeuvred through the last seven years of escalating religious and political turmoil.

 

THE MAKING OF A KING

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Director/Producer: Nicole Miyahara

Synopsis: The Making of a King explores the relatively unknown subculture of drag kings in Los Angeles during the height of drag queen popularity. Although drag queens are widely known and largely accepted, drag kings are also artists who question gender and notions of societal norms with their performances. They are fighting for equal pay and showtime within their own drag community.

 

BADZU VILLAGE

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Director: Tami Blumenfield

Synopsis: In southwest China’s Na villages, families that once stayed together in matrilineal, multigenerational households are now splintering into multiple smaller family units. Many family members spend time working outside these villages, a phenomenon that creates numerous tensions and challenges for the younger generations as they strive to find their own path. Badzu Village explores how members of one family are navigating this shifting terrain, drawing on close relationships between the anthropologist-filmmaker and several generations of women in the family to offer a deeply personal window into their lives.

 

MIGRANTI DI DENTU, MIGRANTI DI FORA (MIGRANTS FROM WITHIN, MIGRANTS FROM AFAR)

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Director: Francesco Dragone, Produced by Awen Films in collaboration with Kriolscope

Synopsis: Migranti is an ethnographic documentary examining complex issues of race, class and belonging in the context of migration in and from Cabo Verde. By following the stories of three migrants, Evandro a Cape Verdean fisherman who migrates from Fogo Island to Santiago Island, Mamadou, a Senegalese who settles in Cabo Verde working as a tailor and Alcindo, a native from Praia, the capital city of Santiago Island who migrates to the US in search of better life conditions, this documentary attempts to analyze their crisscrossing migratory routes.

 

 

TO LOVE A RAT

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Producer/Director: Darcie DeAngelo

Synopsis: This project portrays the story of explosive detection rats and their handlers learning to de- mine. It takes place in Cambodia, a country contaminated with millions of landmines and follows an underfunded NGO, APOPO, that implements rats as new biological technologies for landmine detection. The videos reveal the process of learning a new technology when the technology in question is an unpredictable and, sometimes unwilling, animal. The project’s significance lies in its story of co-species learning and friendships when stakes are fatally high.

 

Aynur Kadir

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October 25, 2016

Master Class & Workshop with Director Camilla Nielsson (4-0320)

October 25, 2016 | By | No Comments

Master Class & Workshop with Director Camilla Nielsson

Friday November 18, 9:00 am-12:00 pm

 Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, Room: 205B
Abstract:
The Society for Visual Anthropology (SVA) is offering for the first time a “master class”/workshop for students and early career filmmakers. Inaugurating what the SVA hopes will be an annual event, the master class/workshop will this year be offered by Camilla Nielsson (Upfront Film, Denmark), anthropologist and director of the award-winning documentary “Democrats” (2014). Nielsson will give a 2-hour master class on documentary filmmaking strategies, including concept, story and development, production and postproduction, and how best to convey anthropological intent throughout the filmmaking process and final product. The master class will be open to both SVA and non-SVA members in the early career or student category.
Learning Objective 1:

develop film ideas and concepts with anthropological intent that work!

Learning Objective 2:

evaluate the pros and cons of different filmmaking strategies for particular project settings.

Learning Objective 3:

plan out high end ethnographic and documentary film work with a low end budget.

Organizer
Ulla Dalum Berg (Rutgers University, New Brunswick)
Email: uberg@rci.rutgers.edu

Organizer
Stephanie Takaragawa (Chapman University)
Email: stephanie.takaragawa@gmail.com

Presenter
Camilla Nielsson (Upfront Films)
Email:cn@upfrontfilms.dk
Aynur Kadir

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October 21, 2016

Multimodal Ethnography and the Possibilities for Engaged Anthropology

October 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

In our scholarship, we strive to strike a balance between anthropological theory-building and social engagement. To do so we use digital technology – inexpensive cameras and social media platforms – in our respective ethnographic projects. Our turn to the digital began during graduate school when we, along with faculty and fellow graduate students, imagined and developed camra. camra is a University of Pennsylvania organization dedicated to multimodal and community engaged research. Here we briefly discuss the ways in which digital technologies provide avenues toward achieving a more collaborative and engaged anthropology. Collaboration has been part and parcel of our discipline since its inception. The digital offers a way to explicitly broaden the scope of collaborative engagement in ways that allow not only for greater participant involvement but also to foster cross-disciplinary projects that put anthropologists in conversation with colleagues in the academy and beyond who grapple with the pressing issues of our time.

Taken from Sweet Tea, portraying E. Patrick Johnson’s performative work on the lives of Black Gay men in the South and his long term relationships with them (2015).

Sweet Tea, portraying E. Patrick Johnson’s performative work on the lives of Black gay men in the South and his long term relationships with them. Photo courtesy Nora Gross

camra was launched in 2011 as a forum connecting graduate students with established scholars interested in legitimizing non-textual production. Our small collective first organized a speaker series followed by a media festival at UPenn that celebrates scholarship at the intersection of ethnography and the audio-visual.  As we developed camra, Philadelphia community-based organizations were eager to learn, partake in and integrate our digital approach to knowledge production. Various institutional actors within and outside of the University of Pennsylvania reached out to us to see if camra members were interested in partnering to create audio-visual work. Projects emerged that allowed camra members to experiment with a digital methodology before they began their dissertation work.

From Dattatreyan’s collaborative film project, Cry Out Loud: Hafes is getting to know the equipment on a wintry day in Delhi (2013).

From Dattatreyan’s collaborative film project, Cry Out Loud: Hafes is getting to know the equipment on a wintry day in Delhi.Photo courtesy E. Gabriel Dattatreyan

In 2013, two camra members developed a filmic and photographic essay on the after-effects of an asbestos plant in Ambler, Pennsylvania (Tarditi and Zuberi). camra members also worked with the Penn School of Design and the Ward to create two short oral history films about Tindley Temple Church, one of the oldest Black Methodist churches in Philadelphia. Other projects that emerged include an HBO-funded short documentary series, two experimental metafilms featuring the travels of a Rastafarian community in South Africa, a PEW-funded film on scientific racism and the Morton Skull collection, the film project Sweet Teabased on E. Patrick Johnson’s performative scholarship concerning the lives of Black gay men in the south and a curated installation in collaboration with Ethnographic Terminalia.

Shankar with students as they begin participatory photography project (2013).

Shankar and students’ participatory photography project. Photo courtesy Naveen Kumar

camra influenced each of our unique audio-visual ethnographic projects as well. In 2012, Dattatreyan began an ethnographic project in Delhi, India with young migrants who were coming of age in an era of post-economic liberalization. He produced several music videos with his youthful participants as well as a feature length film with a group of young Somali refugees, focusing on the racialization of Africans who make the city their home. They screened the film at Khoj Arts in South Delhi to a large audience soon after a series of violent racialized incidents against Africans living in South Delhi. The screening fostered a dialogue around the politics of difference amongst a broad spectrum of South Delhi’s residents. Dattatreyan’s forays into audio-visual projects enabled participant driven ethnographic opportunities, created public discussion around pressing social issues and have fostered ongoing collaborative projects with Delhi based artists and academics around the growing salience of race and racism in urban India.

In 2013, Shankar began research in Bangalore, India working with both NGO personnel and rural youth to understand the changing nature of development. He conducted a participatory film and photography project intended to complicate simplistic representations of village life. Youth in one field site worked in groups of three to articulate what they found curious about their rapidly changing lives. They effectively reversed a dominant gaze that traditionally saw them as impoverished, deficient, and “in-need-of-development” through their playful performances on and off-screen. The collaboration also produced a traveling photography exhibit mounted at their school as well as several university contexts. Shankar’s theoretical insights were heavily influenced by these visual co-productions and shifted how he articulated ideas of aesthetics, auteurship and value.

From Shankar’s participatory photography project: Naveen, ninth standard student, takes shadow selfie against the backdrop of his home (2013).

Naveen, ninth standard student, takes shadow selfie against the backdrop of his home. Photo courtesy Naveen Kumar

Both camra and our work parallel the multimodal turn in anthropology. Ethnography, as a method by which to understand and engage the world, creates opportunities for collaborative knowledge ventures. We suggest that the digital image is opening the aperture of social life in a way not seen before. What we once perceived as bound and local is now clearly saturated with global connection. Here we use aperture and saturation to point to the relationship between the ways we see as anthropologists and the choices we make when we take photographs or film. What our work with camra has pushed us to confront is how our discipline should grow as we explicitly and consciously open its aperture in a media saturated world and strive to consciously integrate ways of seeing that challenge disciplinary understandings while engaging with the pressing problems plaguing our world. Given this, perhaps the question at hand is how we might open the aperture of anthropological knowledge without risking oversaturation. One answer, suggested here, is to consciously integrate the digital into our anthropological imagination, both as theory and practice, an approach that attends to global circulation, audience, collaborative praxis and the ethical and engaged possibilities therein.

 

 

camra members included above are Sandra Ristovska, Emily LaDue, Kate Zambon, Shashank Saini, Mariam Durrani, Matt Tarditi, Jabari Zuberi, Tali Ziv, Corrina Laughlin, E. Gabriel Dattatreyan, Nora Gross, Arjun Shankar, Andrew Hudson, Melissa Skolnick

Jens Kreinath and Jennifer Reynolds are the editors for the Society for Visual Anthropology

Aynur Kadir

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October 13, 2016

Workshop Announcement and Call for Participants

October 13, 2016 | By | No Comments

A PITCH SESSION FOR ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMMAKERS: DEVELOPING YOUR STORY, INTEGRATING YOUR RESEARCH, FINDING FUNDING AND DISTRIBUTION   (3-0700)

Workshops

Thursday, November 17

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

 Are you currently working on a film? Are you interested in getting feedback?
Are you interested in ethnographic film production but not yet ready to share a project in progress?
 Please join us at the AAA for a new Society for Visual Anthropology workshop:

This workshop uses the pitch format of documentary film festivals in which filmmakers pitch their work-in-progress to a jury of funders, distributors and award winning filmmakers. For each film presented, the jury will provide feedback including strategies for visualizing anthropological content and suggestions for developing your narrative and structure. Other discussion topics include conceptualizing your audience, and opportunities and strategies for funding and distribution.

Pre- Selected filmmakers will give a10 minute presentation of their project, that includes a description of the story, themes, research, visual style, plans for completion and a short video sample. Our workshop format is intended to encourage lively discussion between jurors, other workshop participants and the presenting filmmakers. Discussion will address both the effectiveness of the pitch and the substance of the film project. Jury and audience awards. The goals of the workshop:

  1. To model how to present a film project to potential collaborators, funders & distributors.
  2. To provide concrete strategies for turning research into visually compelling stories.
  3. To direct participants to funding and distribution opportunities.

Pitch jurors include:

Camilla Nielsson, Filmmaker/Anthropologist, Director, DEMOCRATS

Sarah Elder, Director, DRUMS OF WINTER: UKSUUM CAUYAI, SVA Film Festival Juror, Prof. of Documentary Film, SUNY Buffalo

Alice Apley, Executive Director, Documentary Educational Resources (DER)

Following the Pitch session, Leslie Aiello, from the Wenner-Gren Foundation will make a brief presentation about the Fejos Ethnographic Film Fellowship.

Two ways to participate in this workshop

PITCH YOUR PROJECT: Whether your project is in development, production, or in rough cut stage, this is an opportunity to get feedback on your work-in-progress from a jury with expertise in anthropological filmmaking, funding and distribution. Seven filmmakers (or filmmaking teams) will be selected to pitch projects. Those interested in presenting their film project should send a brief Pitch Proposal (see below) to Alice Apley (alice@der.org) by OCTOBER 21, 2016. The organizers will select a mix of experienced  to first-time filmmakers.

NONPITCHING WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS: As a workshop participant, you can observe the pitches,join the discussion about the projects in progress, learn from the pitches, get ideas, and plan for a future visual project.

Pitch Proposal – If you are interested in pitching, send a one-page description of your project and a video sample. It should include:

  • Short synopsis describing the significance of the project, brief discussion of the issues, themes and story you will explore, and the visual style of the film (e.g. observational, experimental documentary etc).
  • Your bio, including your unique qualifications for completing this project successfully, such as knowledge, skills, access or history of involvement with the characters and/or subject matter.
  • Please also include a short status report describing where you are in the research, development and/or production process, what work has been completed and a brief timeline.
  • Production-related photo (optional).

Also send a trailer, teaser, or clips via a single streamable link of film footage or visuals (still or moving). (7 minutes maximum)

For questions, email Alice Apley, alice@der.org or Sarah Elder, selder@buffalo.edu

Kate Hennessy

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July 22, 2016

Call for Projectionists, SVA Film Festival, 2016

July 22, 2016 | By | No Comments

Dear colleagues,

We are looking for three graduate students, undergraduates, or filmmakers to work as projectionists at the 2016 Society for Visual Anthropology’s Film and Media Festival as part of the upcoming AAA meetings in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The position involves about 10 hours of work projecting an amazing line-up of films. We need people who are technologically savvy and highly responsible. This is a paid position and, in addition, the projectionists will get a AAA registration waiver.

If interested, send a note of interest and a CV to Kathryn Ramey at Kathryn_Ramey@emerson.edu<mailto:Kathryn_Ramey@emerson.edu>

Best regards,
Kathryn Ramey and Ulla D. Berg
Co-Directors, 2016 SVA Film and Media Festival

Kate Hennessy

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July 21, 2016

Deadline Friday July 22, 2016 — AAA Meeting Logo Design Competition

July 21, 2016 | By | No Comments

Overview

The 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held in Washington, D.C. with the theme of Anthropology Matters! Every year the association develops a logo which represents the annual meeting location and/or theme. This year we are looking for your input! We want to see your visual interpretation of the theme.  The winner will work with a committee and a professional designer to produce the final logo.

Eligibility

Contestants are permitted to work in groups, but their entry will be considered as one and will be eligible to win a single prize.

Guidelines

  • Your logo concept should be reflective of the 2017 conference destination, Washington, D.C. and/or the theme for the conference.
  • Your logo concept should not include references, symbols, or messages that may be deemed offensive, discriminatory, or inappropriate.
  • Your logo should include the name of the meeting “116th Annual Meeting of the AAA”, the location “Washington, D.C.,” and the date “November 29 – December 3, 2017.”

Download the official entry form with full guidelines here. 

Selection & Prize

  • A panel comprised of members of the Program Committee, will select one (1) winning entry, and their decision will be final. The winner will be notified by email and announced on the AAA website and social media platforms. The panel reserves the right to declare the contest deserted, to cancel it, or to disqualify any entry that does not conform to the guidelines.
  • Submissions should be made electronically to aaameetings@americananthro.org, including the entry form, and the logo concept in the format described above, as attachments with subject line <Logo Contest 2016>. The deadline to submit entries is July 22, 2016 at midnight Eastern Standard Time (-5 GMT), and decisions will be made by July 31, 2016.
  • Submissions will be judged on their visual appeal, their adherence to the concept and themes outlined above, quality of design, creativity, and ease of reproduction and manipulation.
  • The prize for the winning entry will include:
    • Special recognition during the conference and on the AAA website.
    • One complimentary registration to the 2017 Annual Meeting (up to $444 in value).
    • Four night stay at the conference hotel during the 2017 Annual Meeting (up to $1,300 value).
    • Prizes can are not exchangeable or transferable to other dates, or people and have no cash value.
  • Any queries should be addressed to: aaameetings@americananthro.org.

Timeline

  • June 22 – Logo Contest Launches
  • July 22 – Logo Contest Entries are due
  • July 18-July31 – Committee reviews and selects 2017 LOGO
  • July 25-September 2 – Logo winner works with staff and designer to produce 3 versions of the logo (icon, medium and full size), 3 colors versions (two color, full color, and gray scale) and different formats (.EPS, .JPG, and .PNG)
  • Mid-September –  Logo and theme revealed

 

Kate Hennessy

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July 19, 2016

Ethnographic Terminalia 2016, Minneapolis: Workshop ––”The Photo-Essay is Dead! Long live the Photo-Essay!”

July 19, 2016 | By | No Comments

Meetings of the American Anthropology Association, 2016
Minneapolis MN
Thursday, November 17, 2016 9:00-4:00

See our Call for Photo-Essayist Presentations here (deadline August 15th)
General participant registration on the AAA Website will be available soon.
Please send inquiries to ethnographicterminalia@gmail.com

Overview
The Ethnographic Terminalia Collective invites submissions by photo-essayists working within an anthropological idiom to present their photo-essays at a full-day workshop at the 2016 AAA Meetings in Minneapolis: “The Photo-Essay is Dead! Long Live the Photo-Essay!” The full-day workshop is designed for creative and engaged participation from both participants and presenters.  It is structured around three sessions each of which features the presentation of a photo-essay, a thought-provoking discussion of photography in Anthropology, and facilitator-led group activity. In the course of the day up to thirty workshop participants and six presenters will collectively contribute to a zine (an open-access and limited print-edition workshop publication) that will be launched and distributed at a reception on Saturday, Nov. 19th. The zine will function not only as a document of the workshop but also a formal object around which we explore the past, present, and future of the photo-essay in Anthropology.

Building on our art-anthropology experiments in off-site locations, this year we return  to the AAA conference site to re-examine the photo-essay within anthropological, photographic, and publishing communities.  Emulating our recent workshop and rapid-publication project (see http://ethnographicterminalia.org/terminus), the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective invites you to join us in actively considering how experimentations at the intersection of art and anthropology might function as prototypes for thinking about the future of the photographic image in anthropology.  We are all literally publishing at the terminus — the end of publishing agreements, the end of print, the end of things as they have been. How might the photo-essay work as a prototype for collectively envisioning a future of visual anthropology?

Rationale
Photographs have been a component of anthropological practice since its earliest formation. Their popularity over the past 150 years in monographs, journals, exhibitions, and now on the Internet, has increased dramatically. While photographs seem to be everywhere there has been little serious and sustained critical engagement with modes of presentation and publication in the context of visual anthropology.  For over a decade, the internet has increasingly become a rapid and inexpensive way to share photographs but there is little discussion about the forms in which they appear and how people engage with them. Due partly to cost, the photo-essay has never become prevalent within academic publications. Furthermore there is little clarity around the definition of a photo-essay especially in the context of anthropology. This is precisely what interests us. Our academic conventions for sharing photographs have been cemented around a limited number of typically black and white images in a journal article or monograph. It is only within the last decade that we’ve begun to see anthropological photo-essays published on-line and these often seem to be either ghettoized within the structure of the journal’s website or overlooked by readers unfamiliar with the genre.  Meanwhile within journalism and documentary photography there has been a surge of experiments and formal endeavours.

We believe that still photographs are on the cusp of finding new importance in anthropology in the form of the photo-essay, in particular as the serial nature of photography is being tested out within digital infrastructures on the Internet. For example, the journal Cultural Anthropology recently launched a photo-essay section of their journal; other major journals, now investing in digital infrastructures, are leveraging the Internet to share photographs. How digital forms and cross-disciplinary engagements with photographic representations are re-shaping aesthetic and ethical commitments to the photo essay remains unclear. However, we do know that more and more anthropologists use cameras in the field and many students are keen to study visual methodologies. As a result, the criteria for evaluating their critical and aesthetic contributions have yet to be fully developed. Further, the creative potential for the photo-essay to be realized in new formats and contexts is as yet generally unexplored. Ethnographic Terminalia has had a sustained engagement with contemporary art since 2009; in the workshop, we will  bring artists and anthropologists together to appreciate the degree of sophistication and variety of experiments in what might be loosely considered the photo-essay.

Workshop Structure
Ethnographic Terminalia is committed to serious play; our workshops are carefully designed to foster lively and generative spaces for critical collective exploration of a topic, thesis, or question.  Facilitated by the Ethnographic Terminalia Collective, up to thirty participants and six presenters will work collectively throughout the day to generate the materials for a zine in the form of a rapid prototype publication.  This workshop is organized into three sessions, each with: 1) an essayist exploring their work in the form of a single photo-essay; 2) a provocateur who will critically explore some element of the photo-essay; and 3) facilitated activities and open time for participant reflection on and annotation of works in progress, discussion, and contribution to the workshop publication.

Before the workshop, photo-essayists  and provocateurs will be asked to submit creatively designed page spreads featuring photo-essays and discussions. These will be included in the zine and printed for annotation during the workshop. Participants are also encouraged to print photographs from their own photo-essay works-in-progress and bring them to work with throughout the day.

During the workshop, presenters’ photo-essays will be installed for viewing and annotation. Participants and provocateurs will be invited to add commentary and other ephemera (using photography, photo printers, drawing, social media posts, annotation, and so on) to further contribute to the conversation. These contributions will be documented for inclusion in the publication. Additionally, workshop participants (who are not official presenters) are invited to bring their own photo essays-in-progress to contribute to the workshop activity, and which may be included in the publication.

After the workshop the Ethnographic Terminalia collective will complete the design and layout of the zine.  We will print copies for distribution on Saturday afternoon (Nov. 19th) at the AAA Meetings at a special event and zine launch supported by the Society for Visual Anthropology.  All participants will receive a copy of the zine, as will a limited number of reception attendees. An open access digital copy of the zine will be archived on the Ethnographic Terminalia website. You can see an example of the publication “Terminus: Archives, Ephemera, and Electronic Art” that we produced at our last workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2015. http://ethnographicterminalia.org/terminus.

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