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Accepted Paper:

A 'visual common '? Reflections on an audiovisual approach of an intercultural peace initiative in Colombia  


Gerrit Stollbrock Trujillo (Universidad Externado and Los Andes (Bogota, Colombia))

Paper short abstract:

Inspired by film's 'transculturality' (McDougall), a documentary I made aimed to show rural life continuities among leaders of communities in an ethnic conflict. I conclude that a ' visual common' is built only through montage: invisible relations between individual lives are then allowed to appear

Paper long abstract:

What does an audiovisual approach contribute to the reflection on the common (Mezzadra and Nielson 2013) within the fragmentation derived from "multiculturalism" in Latinamerica (Bocarejo and Restrepo 2011)? Born in the interdisciplinary investigation "Social movements and the construction of the common in Colombia today", in my presentation I reflectively discuss the making of a documentary film about an intercultural peace initiative of three social leaders in the Cauca Region, whose communities have been in conflict for years: an indigenous Nasa, an Afro-descendant and a peasant.

In addition to telling their story, the audiovisual treatment aimed to make visible the rural life continuities that the three leaders' daily lives share: to build a 'visual common'. It was strongly inspired by the work of McDougall (1998), for whom the fundamental particularity of the visual medium in Anthropology is its ability to be "transcultural", in counterweight to the cultural difference emphasis that has traditionally concerned the written discipline.

But what does the realization process ultimately tell us? First, is shows the dislocations of "ethnicity" by the three subjects (McDougall 1999) as well as it makes visible that an "invention of the ethnic" (Segato 1999) is discursive, in opposition to the daily live continuities that might enable a 'visual common' to emerge. However, going deeper, that 'visual common' does not appear as a visual feature by itself, as McDougall might put it, but through the process of montage, which allows invisible relations (Suhr y Willerslev 2012) among those three individual lives to appear.

Panel P106
Provoking Visuals: Creative Engagements with Borders, Wars, and Conflicts [PACSA Network]