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SVA News Archives - Society for Visual Anthropology

Aynur Kadir

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October 14, 2017

Extended deadline for AAA Film Pitch Workshop: October 30th, 2017

October 14, 2017 | By | No Comments

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?

Due to the enormous success of the 2016 Pitch Session, we are once again convening a Film Pitch Workshop at the 2017 Annual Meeting.  Please join us for the 2nd Annual Society for Visual Anthropology Film Pitch Workshop, December 1st from 1-5 PM.

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

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.

Preselected filmmakers will give a 10 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.

The goals of the workshop are:

  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 are to be announced.

Two Ways to Participate
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 to Alice Apley by October 30, 2017. The organizers will select a mix of experienced to first-time filmmakers.
NONPITCHING WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS: As a workshop participant, you can observe the pitches, get ideas for projects, join the discussion about the projects in progress, learn from the pitches, 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 or Sarah Elder.

Aynur Kadir

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October 11, 2017

Extended deadline for proposals: Displacements: December 8, 2017

October 11, 2017 | By | No Comments

Call for Proposals: Displacements

Call for Proposals
2018 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Cultural Anthropology
Cosponsored by the Society for Visual Anthropology

Thursday, April 19–Saturday, April 21, 2018
An online event
Tune in from wherever you are, or come together to invent and collaborate

Extended deadline for proposals: December 8, 2017

* * *

Displacements are in the air: episodes of profound political upheaval, intensified crises of migration and expulsion, the disturbing specter of climatic and environmental instability, countless virtual shadows cast over the here and now by ubiquitous media technologies. What does it mean to live and strive in the face of such movements? What social and historical coordinates are at stake with these challenges? And what kind of understanding can anthropology contribute to the displacements of this time—given, especially, that our most essential techniques like ethnography are themselves predicated on the heuristic value of displacement, on what can be gleaned from the experience of unfamiliar circumstances?

Exclusionary politics of spatial displacement always depend on rhetorical and imaginative displacements of various kinds: a person for a category, or a population for a problem. In the face of such moves, the critical task of ethnography is often to muster contrary displacements of thought, attention, imagination, and sensation. What forms of social and political possibility might be kindled by anthropological efforts to broach unexpected places, situations, and stories? The 2018 SCA Biennial Meeting, cosponsored by the Society for Visual Anthropology, will invite such prospects in tangible form, as experiences of what is elsewhere and otherwise. This is a conference that will itself displace the conventional modes of gathering, taking place wherever its participants individually and collectively tune in.

For the first time, in 2018, the SCA Biennial Meeting will take place as a virtual conference. We invite you to contribute an individual audio/video presentation of 5–10 minutes in length, a proposal for a panel of related presentations, or an idea for some localized form of in-person collaboration to which conference participants could have access. You may simply choose to record yourself giving a talk or reading a paper. But we especially encourage efforts to take us elsewhere along with you in a more sensory and immersive register: multimedia presentations, voiceover essays spliced with fieldwork fragments, sound works, short films, photo sequences, and so on. In this spirit, here is another call for submissions to the Biennial Meeting, one expressed in a different manner.

Air travel is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and one of the chief ways that an academic livelihood contributes to carbon pollution. We are exploring the virtual conference format with the ideal of carbon-neutral activity in mind. This format will also enable broader geographical participation, most especially against the backdrop of a political climate of unequal restrictions on international travel. We hope, too, that the web-based media platform we are developing for the conference will allow for novel explorations of expressive form in anthropology.

One of the chief values of the academic conference no doubt lies in face-to-face meetings and interactions. We hope, however, that this effort may provoke decentralized, affinity-based forms of collaboration, interaction, and uptake, in the spirit of experimentation that the SCA and SVA have long encouraged. We therefore invite participants to consider gathering together into local nodes of collective participation in the conference: viewing parties, classroom activities, departmental engagements with the conference, hackathon-style events that culminate in outputs that can be shared with other conference attendees, or anything else you can imagine.

All presentations must be prerecorded and shared in advance with the organizers. The presentations will be posted sequentially, in real time, during the conference and will be available to registered conference attendees for viewing, commentary, and discussion over those three days. We are exploring the possibility of a digital archive of presentations for those who want to participate, although more ephemeral contributions are also welcome.

Technical guidance on presentations will be forthcoming soon, but we want to assure you that nothing more complicated is required than what can be done on a typical smartphone. In the meantime, if you are conducting summer fieldwork, feel free to start gathering audiovisual materials that you may wish to incorporate in your presentation (in keeping with the research ethics of your particular field site). Also, keep in mind that if you would like to organize a local node of collective participation, we will work with you to provide some form of support for your event.

The extended deadline for proposals is Friday, December 8, 2017. Please write to displacements@culanth.org with a title and 200-word description of proposed presentations, panels, collaborations, and local events. Panel proposals should include an abstract for each individual presentation, as well as one for the panel. Presentations themselves will be due in late February 2018. Further details on conference registration will be available soon.

Aynur Kadir

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October 6, 2017

SVA Members | Mark Your Calendars! AES & SVA Joint Spring Meeting

October 6, 2017 | By | No Comments

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Dear SVA Members,

The American Ethnological Society and the Society for Visual Anthropology welcomes you to participate in the joint spring meeting, Resemblance, on March 22-24, 2018!

In an era of “fake news” and “alt” political movements, what counts as meaning making? How can we understand epistemology in an era of madness? The issue of resemblance is as much a pressing social question as it is an academic preoccupation. The American Ethnological Society and the Society for Visual Anthropology explore the theme of resemblance at their 2018 joint spring conference. Welcoming anthropologists, artists, media makers, and community members to Philadelphia during March 22-24, the meeting will provide an opportunity to revisit and explore anew what we believe is knowable as anthropologists and the ways we may wish to rethink our priorities and approaches in our era of heightened violence, strife, surveillance, and policing.

Resemblance is at the very heart of anthropology, as its practitioners have sought to demonstrate the commonalities of all people. While resemblance relies upon recognition and likening, it is also a means of comparison to what one perceives and believes they already know. The conference organizers invite proposals for panels consisting of papers or multimodal presentations, as well as individual submissions that theoretically, methodologically, visually, or otherwise examine the conference theme. We welcome graduate students to present their work in its early stages and to network with more established practitioners. The conference will feature exhibitions, speakers, films, performances, as well as a town hall discussion about how our field can wield greater influence in public struggles of resemblance.

Mark your calendars and look out for submission information this fall!

All the best,

Stephanie Takaragawa


Mailed from the American Anthropological Association
2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 1301 • Arlington, VA 22201-3386
tel: 703.528.1902 • fax: 703.228.3546
Aynur Kadir

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June 30, 2017

Call for Proposals: Displacements

June 30, 2017 | By | No Comments

Call for Proposals: Displacements

Call for Proposals
2018 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Cultural Anthropology
Cosponsored by the Society for Visual Anthropology
Thursday, April 19–Saturday, April 21, 2018
An online event
Tune in from wherever you are, or come together to invent and collaborate

* * *
Displacements are in the air: episodes of profound political upheaval, intensified crises of migration and expulsion, the disturbing specter of climatic and environmental instability, countless virtual shadows cast over the here and now by ubiquitous media technologies. What does it mean to live and strive in the face of such movements? What social and historical coordinates are at stake with these challenges? And what kind of understanding can anthropology contribute to the displacements of this time—given, especially, that our most essential techniques like ethnography are themselves predicated on the heuristic value of displacement, on what can be gleaned from the experience of unfamiliar circumstances?

Exclusionary politics of spatial displacement always depend on rhetorical and imaginative displacements of various kinds: a person for a category, or a population for a problem. In the face of such moves, the critical task of ethnography is often to muster contrary displacements of thought, attention, imagination, and sensation. What forms of social and political possibility might be kindled by anthropological efforts to broach unexpected places, situations, and stories? The 2018 SCA Biennial Meeting, cosponsored by the Society for Visual Anthropology, will invite such prospects in tangible form, as experiences of what is elsewhere and otherwise. This is a conference that will itself displace the conventional modes of gathering, taking place wherever its participants individually and collectively tune in.

For the first time, in 2018, the SCA Biennial Meeting will take place as a virtual conference. We invite you to contribute an individual audio/video presentation of 5–10 minutes in length, a proposal for a panel of related presentations, or an idea for some localized form of in-person collaboration to which conference participants could have access. You may simply choose to record yourself giving a talk or reading a paper. But we especially encourage efforts to take us elsewhere along with you in a more sensory and immersive register: multimedia presentations, voiceover essays spliced with fieldwork fragments, sound works, short films, photo sequences, and so on. In this spirit, here is another call for submissions to the Biennial Meeting, one expressed in a different manner.

Air travel is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and one of the chief ways that an academic livelihood contributes to carbon pollution. We are exploring the virtual conference format with the ideal of carbon-neutral activity in mind. This format will also enable broader geographical participation, most especially against the backdrop of a political climate of unequal restrictions on international travel. We hope, too, that the web-based media platform we are developing for the conference will allow for novel explorations of expressive form in anthropology.

One of the chief values of the academic conference no doubt lies in face-to-face meetings and interactions. We hope, however, that this effort may provoke decentralized, affinity-based forms of collaboration, interaction, and uptake, in the spirit of experimentation that the SCA and SVA have long encouraged. We therefore invite participants to consider gathering together into local nodes of collective participation in the conference: viewing parties, classroom activities, departmental engagements with the conference, hackathon-style events that culminate in outputs that can be shared with other conference attendees, or anything else you can imagine.

All presentations must be prerecorded and shared in advance with the organizers. The presentations will be posted sequentially, in real time, during the conference and will be available to registered conference attendees for viewing, commentary, and discussion over those three days. We are exploring the possibility of a digital archive of presentations for those who want to participate, although more ephemeral contributions are also welcome.

Technical guidance on presentations will be forthcoming soon, but we want to assure you that nothing more complicated is required than what can be done on a typical smartphone. In the meantime, if you are conducting summer fieldwork, feel free to start gathering audiovisual materials that you may wish to incorporate in your presentation (in keeping with the research ethics of your particular field site). Also, keep in mind that if you would like to organize a local node of collective participation, we will work with you to provide some form of support for your event.

The deadline for proposals is Monday, October 16, 2017. Please write to displacements@culanth.org with a title and 200-word description of proposed presentations, panels, collaborations, and local events, or any other queries. Further details on conference registration will be forthcoming.

Aynur Kadir

By

April 5, 2017

SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship Program 2017-2018

April 5, 2017 | By | No Comments

Fellowship Details and Application Instructions

The SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowships are designed to provide graduate students working in the field of visual and multimodal anthropology with funding to pursue exploratory research for planning their doctoral dissertation research and/or methods training to prepare for their doctoral dissertation research. Research projects supported by the funding should have the potential of advancing the field of visual anthropology. Normally, fellows receive their awards after their first or second year of graduate training as they begin to develop their dissertation research projects. We expect to award up to six fellowships in 2017 with each fellow up to an amount of $6,000 depending upon need. Of the total amount granted, up to $2,500 may be used for video/film equipment.

Eligibility:    

o   Fellowships are open to all graduate students without regard to citizenship or place of residence.

o   Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application and during the period of the fellowship.

o   Applicants’ proposed research must be in the field of visual anthropology, broadly defined, but they do not need to be students in departments of anthropology.

o   Applicants cannot have completed more than four years of graduate education, including all institutions that they have attended.

o   Applicants must be current members of the Society of Visual Anthropology (SVA), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) as of April 25, 2017.

Details on joining the AAA and the SVA can be found at www.Americananthro.org. (Note: If the applicant is not a current member, we suggest submitting the membership application well in advance to be sure that the membership is current by the deadline.)

The funding cannot be used to collect data for the fellow’s master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation.

Fellows are prohibited from accepting the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship in conjunction with any other summer or research funding for the same projector over the same time frame as the proposed research supported by the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship.

All fellows are required to attend the 2017 AAA Annual Meeting to be held in Washington, D.C. (November 29-December 3, 2017).

Permissible Uses of Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship

Funding: Financial support can be requested to support all travel expenses, including airfare, ground transportation, and visa application fees; living expenses and housing; fieldwork expenses such as gifts for participants, translator and field assistant fees; and all other reasonable and justified expenses. Funds may not be used to pay for graduate school tuition. Budgets must include financial support up to a maximum of $600 to attend the 2017 AAA Annual Meeting to be held in Washington, D.C.

Funding cannot be used to support language training in more commonly taught languages, such as Spanish, French, and Arabic. Some funding can be used to support language instruction for languages where formal instruction is limited, but the focus of the project should be on pursuing exploratory research rather than strictly language instruction. Funding can be used for methods training, but the methods in question must be tied directly to the larger research project and it will be this project that is the focus of the selection committee’s review. Proposals for general methods or statistical training, for example, are unlikely to be funded. We expect to fund proposals between $3,000 and $6,000. You may request a larger amount than the stated limit, but it is very unlikely that an award over $6,000 will be made.

Application  components:

(1)  Application form: Download the fellowship application form from the Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship website,or from here.  complete the form using Adobe Acrobat or Reader, and save it with your last name in the title.

(2)  Project statement: In 750 -1,000 words (excluding references), please describe the specific research activities or training that you will carry out with support from the SVA/Robert Lemelson Foundation Fellowship. Explain in detail how you will use your time, including any preliminary data you will collect and analysis you are considering. Please specify the ways in which this preliminary research and/or methods training has the potential to make your dissertation research more successful. Please indicate whether you have ever spent time in the field site in question. If so, please indicate the length of time and experience you have there, and how this bout of research will be different from previous visits. Finally, your proposal should specifically address how your research program has the potential to advance the field of visual/multimodal anthropology. The statement should be single-spaced, and use a 12-point font and one-inch margins on all sides. Any references included should be narrowly focused, and should not exceed 300 words.

(3)  Brief curriculum vitae: In one single-spaced page, provide details on your education with dates of enrollment; any research funding, fellowships, and awards you may have received, including amounts and dates, and any academic publications and presentations you may have completed. Include details on prior employment, volunteer work, and other experience only if it is directly relevant to the proposed research. Other information, such as teaching experience, should not be included.  

(4)  Budget and budget justification: In one single-spaced page, provide a detailed and specific budget with justification for the items and amounts included. Justification should include mention of how costs were estimated. Your budget must include support up to $600 for attendance at the 2017 AAA meetings, and this amount can be listed as a single item in your budget.

(5)  Letter of recommendation: Applicants must obtain a letter written in support of their application from a faculty member familiar with their work and research aspirations. Normally, this will be the chair of the student’s graduate research advisory committee. Please provide the attached information sheet to the individual who is writing the letter. It is the applicant’s responsibility to be sure that the letter is received by the deadline. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Only one letter of recommendation will be accepted.

Deadline and submission details:

Deadline for application submission: 5 pm EST on Tuesday April 25, 2017

Your application should consist of only two files: (1) a PDF of the completed application form (section #1 above), and (2) a single PDF file that includes sections #2 (project statement and references), #3 (curriculum vitae), and #4 (budget and justification). Please include your last name in the name of both files. To submit your application, please email both files as an attachment to the SVA’s President, Stephanie Takaragawa (takaraga@chapman.edu) by the deadline. Applications received after this time and date will not be reviewed. We expect to contact awardees by the end of April, and hope to contact all applicants by May 1, 2017. Please contact Stephanie Takaragawa with any questions or if there are any changes to your application, such a receipt of other funding. 

2017-2018 SVA/RLF Fellowship Application Form

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).

untitled11

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

By

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

By

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

00002

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

00006

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

By

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, 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

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