Visual anthropologists explore economic, religious and other kinds of social processes audio-visually. They produce audio-visual documents, they analyse subject-generated ones and engage in collaborative projects. What do they contribute to the creation and transmission of anthropological knowledge?
Since the beginning of photography, film, and audio recording, anthropologists have used these means to explore and document traditional cultural expressions as well as economic, religious, and other kinds of social processes. Nowadays these means are used also by various groups to safeguard and transmit their cultural heritage, to communicate their life situation, and to engage in political debates. Increasingly, anthropologists work together with local people in collaborative projects to deepen their knowledge. In the panel we intend to confront the diverse engagements of anthropologists and ask what the contribution of these activities to the legacy of anthropology might be. What are anthropological filmmakers, photographers and sound collectors aiming for in their work? Why do they use audio-visual means in their research? How can recording be used to explore new research questions? How does it enhance the exchange of ideas with subjects in research? How can the findings be published so as to contribute to the interchange of knowledge? Many people are creating audio-visual productions about their own culture or life situations. For many years anthropologists have argued that these productions contribute substantially to the worldwide knowledge. How do anthropologists use these contributions? How are they integrated in the research process ? And what kinds of insights can be gained? A growing amount of collaborative research projects is using audio-visual means in quite different ways to explore problems together. How can collaborative work using audio-visuals lead to new forms and quality of knowledge production?