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Accepted Paper:

Magic, the secular and socialist ethnographic film in Romania  
Alexandra Cotofana (Zayed University)

Paper short abstract:

My paper focuses on Romanian socialist ethnographic film making to inquire on the effects that the socialist regime has had on how anthropology and its sister disciplines view themselves in terms of interacting with research topics dealing with spirituality.

Paper long abstract:

My paper analyzes the way national politics and ideology influenced ethnographic fieldwork during the socialist era in Romania. I contextualize the topic in the larger political context of the time to explicate how doing research on magic was possible during the late 1960s and not before (or after), as well as what doing research meant for ethnographers throughout the world in the context of the Cold War. I end with the case study of one ethnographer who did research on magic practices during the late 1960s. The paper will be divided into five sections: 1) Introduction, where most of the general hypothesis will be presented, 2) Historical and socio-political context 1960s-1970s, where I will consider the national and international ideological factors around research and the making of ethnographic film in the late 1960s and early 1970s, 3) Ethnography, film, research and religion, where I will discuss details on Sahia Film Studio, the only state-accepted film studio in Romania during the socialist regime - and also expand more on the intersections of religiosity and ideology, 4) Radu R─âutu, a chapter where I briefly discuss my interviews from the summer of 2014 and 2015, focusing on one ethnographer who made the only documentary film to encompass a full magic ritual that came out of Eastern Europe in the late 1960s and early 1970s and 5) Conclusion, where I will sum up the main point of my paper.

Panel P128
Alternative religiosities in the communist East-Central Europe and Russia: formations, resistances and manifestations
  Session 1