Film-making in the field: 'artistic' research as an open-ended anthropological praxis
Peter Anton Zoettl
Paper short abstract:
Based on recent ethnographic research on youth violence in Cape Verde non-fictional video is discussed as an "in-between" representational and relational form of experimental scientific and artistic practice.
Paper long abstract:
Based on recent ethnographic research that employed participatory and non-participatory filmmaking as a method for fieldwork and knowledge production, non-fictional video is discussed as an "in-between" representational and relational form of experimental scientific and artistic practice. In the present case, the author's fieldwork on urban gangs and youth violence in Cape Verde, carried out in two of the country's central prisons, has been accompanied by an open-ended filmmaking process with a couple of youths in a marginalized low-income neighbourhood in the crime-ridden city of Praia, Santiago Island. The non-directional videotaping of the "clique's" daily routine in an improvised shack at the margins of a middle class district was conceptualized as an experimental and decidedly "incomplete" artistic practice that would - eventually - bring along anthropological insights into the dynamics of youth culture, violence and society from an inside/outside (prison) perspective. Film-making within the context of social sciences is thus discussed as an inextricably "artistic", "scientific" and "relational" praxis for the constitution and representation of knowledge.
Ethnography as collaboration/experiment