Accepted Paper:

Africanistic experiments on the periphery of Europe  
Sarah Lunaček (University of Ljubljana)

Paper short abstract:

First I shall consider the particularities of possiblities to develop African studies in Slovenia. Then I shall present an experimental search for a kind of shared anthropology using visual means, through the analysis of the preparation of a photographic exhibition by Amajeg (Tuareg) from Niger.

Paper long abstract:

In Slovenia, despite politically unsupportive environment a group of enthusiasts is still developing an utopian idea of creating a programme of African studies. After first scruples about the problem of employment of future »experts«, the idea of importance of knowledge prevailed.

As knowledge is unavoidably created in a certain social and political environment, I propose to take into consideration the development of possible advantages conditioned by particular historical context of non-colonial past of Slovenia and its position of non-alignment state as a part of ex-Yugoslavia. In any context, I see as an important challenge, how to further develop the concept and praxis of shared anthropology (proposed by Jean Rouch). It is about overcoming the hierarchical aspect of relation between anthropologist and his or her field asistant in favor of dialogic process, and I am speculating even to 'de-throne' elitist aspect of academia with the belief that anyone who shows enough interest is able to understand anthropological endeavour.

Then the presentation will engage in the rather particular case study of Amajeg friend from Niger visiting anthropologist on the periphery of Europe, with the aim of putting up a photographic exhibition and organising discussions on the topic of changes and challenges in lives of Kel Tamashek (Tuareg). It is an experiment in shared as well as visual anthropology, using photographs as methodological and (re)presentational means. How to leave the discursive place open to constantly reshape it in dialogic relation, questioning the (im)possibility of view from inside and truthful representation? How to take into consideration the particularity of hybrid personal situation of living everyday life between Sahelian city, taking care of herds and knowing European approaches? Alongside the photographic camera is being further used to develop material for discussion on changing perspectives on lives in Europe on the basis of experience.

Panel W004
Europe in Africa – Africa in Europe: Borut Brumen Memorial