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Black and white stills: catching and placing light 
Christine Moderbacher (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Halle)
Annika Lems (Australian National University)
Start time:
31 July, 2014 at
Time zone: Europe/Tallinn
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

By capturing light and shades in black and white stills, we aim to answer to an increasing number of voices arguing that anthropologists need to pay attention to the role of luminosity as well as to explore the complexities and possibilities of the visual in studying experiences of habitation.

Long Abstract:

In what has come to be characterised as the 'age of movement', anthropologists have often prioritised ideas of movement and fluidity, while the question of how people actually experience place is still marginally explored. We would like to explore the means and possibilities of how a place is actually experienced by incorporating recent debates about the influence of the 'weather world'. Bearing in mind that it is not possible to think away the actual geographical location of social life, we aim to focus on the impact of luminosity on our way of perceiving a very particular place.

Taking in consideration the particularity of light in the northern hemisphere, we invite participants to build self-made pinhole cameras and wayfare in pairs through the city of Tallinn. This will enable us to open a broader discussion about the merits and complexities of using the visual as a tool in ethnographic encounters as against conventional text based representation. By exhibiting the stills during the conference we will portray an abstract map of Tallin, a visual storytelling of the luminosity of the city, as seen through the eyes of the visitors.

This open laboratory will begin with a 90-minute workshop, in which we will build the pinhole cameras and instruct the participants in how to use them. Participants will then be invited to take their cameras along for a walk. The photographs will be developed by the conveners and shown and presented as an exhibition during the remainder of the event.