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"What if they say things we don't like"? Visual reflections on uneasy relationships in the field. 
Christine Moderbacher (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Halle)
Michael Karrer (Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg)
Marcelo de Jesus
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Eva Theunissen (Masaryk University)
Lanyon Building (LAN), 0G/049
Thursday 28 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel invites papers that critically discuss ways of working with people who challenge the anthropologists and/or filmmakers' personal, political and/or ethical convictions in times of societal and political rupture, using visual tools.

Long Abstract:

While media and political discourses increasingly deploy a rhetoric of rupture that leads to harsh divisions within society, ethnographic fieldwork is still expected to be based on mutual sympathy. Likewise, research with the camera has not been given much attention when it comes to challenging relationships in the field. But what, to quote Jean Rouch "if our research partners say things we don't like? Will we break our camera?". The panel invites papers that seek answers to these questions by exploring new and creative ways of working with people who challenge the anthropologists and/or filmmakers' personal, political and/or ethical convictions, e.g. how can new methods and forms of visual anthropology combined with filmic approaches bring new perspectives to the topic and its ethical challenges? How can conducting research with the camera help establishing more nuanced readings of people we work with but we don't necessarily agree with and where are its limitations? Which approaches and tools can we borrow from filmmakers who are increasingly engaging with political "otherness" as well as difficult relationships within one's familiar settings, like one's own family (e.g. on the topic of Covid vaccination, political and religious differences …). We are interested in papers that offer new insights into the topic and discuss how we could represent the perspective of the "other" without serving as a multiplicator for their purposes.

The panel welcomes contributions that ally up with other disciplines (film studies, art etc. ...) and incorporate visual, aural and other sensory materials in their presentation.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -