Accepted paper:

Ethno-Science Fiction: projective improvisations and future scenarios on environmental threats in the everyday life of Mancunians


Johannes Sjöberg (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

This paper will use performance and audio-visual media to suggest ethno science-fiction as a new and alternative method in ethnographic research and filmmaking. In this case study the ethno-science fiction will be applied on the process of fear and imagination in the everyday life of Mancunians, in relation to environmental threats.

Paper long abstract:

Ethno science-fiction is a development of Jean Rouch's ethnofiction. While ethnofiction draws on projective improvisation as an ethnographic film method to explore past and present experiences of ethnographic significance though creative expression and reflexivity, ethno-science fiction is exclusively concerned with the uncertainty of the future. The film method refers to the popular film and literary genre to indicate the impact the process of imagining an uncertain future has on present experiences and how the imagined narratives of the ethno-science fiction influence the creation of strategies for the future. The paper will draw on performance and film clips to suggest how participatory video in combination with applied theatre can be used as a method to explore the process of anticipation, worry and fear in relation to future environmental threats, in the everyday life of Mancunians. 'Science' has an additional meaning in this context since scientists for the first time in history are able to predict certain consequences of climate change in a long term perspective and with improved accuracy. The imagined narratives of the future scenarios are thus generated in the tension between the personal imagination of the participants and the predictions of the scientists.

panel G17
Anthropology in-the-making: exploring dynamic ways of story-telling and non-conventional methods of presentation