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Accepted Paper:

Collaborative Ethnography: Crafting an Ethnographically-Informed Children's Picture Book with Artisans in Iran  
Elaheh Habibi (University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) Ahmad Moradi (Freie Universität Berlin)

Paper short abstract:

This paper presents a collaborative ethnography project where some students, local artisans, and three Iranian anthropologists worked together to illustrate a children's book narrative depicting the effects of climate change on the lives of coastal communities in Qeshm Island, Iran.

Paper long abstract:

This paper presents an in-depth case study of a collaborative project conducted in partnership with the University of Hormozgan, Iran, spanning a two-month summer school in 2023 and an extension throughout an academic year. The project brought together fifteen traditional handicrafts students, local artisans, and three Iranian anthropologists (co-authors of this text) to illustrate a children's book narrative. The book details the repercussions of climate change on the coastal communities of Qeshm Island.

The project seamlessly merged traditional textile techniques with contemporary artistic expression, fostering active community involvement. Grounded in the principles of collaborative ethnography, it served as a unique platform for students and artisans to integrate their talents into the creation of a captivating children's picture book.

This paper offers insights into the project's planning, execution, challenges, and lessons learned, with a focus on improving collaborative processes in ethnographic research, education, and community engagement.

Significantly, this project embraces multimodality by incorporating local art forms, particularly traditional embroidery practices alongside visual ethnography. This approach offers a sensory-rich understanding of the Qeshm island's culture and challenges, while actively engaging with co-curation. Participants play a pivotal role in narrative construction and visual representation, challenging traditional anthropological power dynamics and fostering a more inclusive and democratic knowledge production process.

By showcasing this project, we aim to emphasize how multimodal and collaborative ethnographic research can provide profound insights into complex social phenomena. It exemplifies how anthropological knowledge can transcend academic circles, engaging wider audiences through narrative and visual mediums, thereby enriching anthropological pedagogy.

Panel P10
Multimodality, Collaboration and Co-curation as Critical Anthropological Pedagogy
  Session 1 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -