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This panel explores collaborations between anthropologists and subaltern actors to summon forth new futures through speculative storytelling. We will focus on films and performances as scenarios that frame and produce shifting affective experiences towards the future to create empowered discourses.
Ethnographic narratives are contingent on notions of truth and authenticity. Although Clifford and Marcus's contributions to 'the reflexive turn' are on the table for some decades, the primary praxis within anthropology is still bound into the creation of realist texts. However, realist storytelling may reify the exact power structures that create subalterns within societal power imbalances, leaving little room for fantasy and speculation, usually relegated to fiction. Accordingly, realist narratives disallow what Deleuze (1975) called 'minor people' to actively forge a new collectivity, one that moves toward the border of the dominant discourse. Is it on fiction that lies the power of minorities to dream a better future by protesting the tyranny of representation belonging to the majoritarian perspective? Should anthropologists move away from ethnography and together with these collectivities engage in political art through fabulation? Yes, we should. This panel thus explores collaborations in which anthropologists and subaltern actors summoned forth new futures through speculative storytelling using audio-visual media and performance. We will discuss processes within film production and performances as scenarios that frame and produce shifting affective experiences towards the future and create a line of flight on which an empowered minority discourse can be constituted. We join Ingold (2019) in his conviction that both, art and anthropology, are future-oriented disciplines that have the 'common task of fashioning a world fit for coming generations to inhabit.' As an interdisciplinary team of conveners, we invite papers that transcend the boundaries between anthropology, art, performance, and film studies.
Julie Nynne Bune (Aarhus University, School of culture and society)
Martin Gruber (University of Bremen)
Lijing Peng (Trinity College Dublin)