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Collage Worlds, Imaginary Futures and Collaborative Identity: Collage as a visual / multimodal anthropology medium and method.   
Lucietta Williams (University of the West of England)
Cathy Greenhalgh (Independent)
Susan Falls (Savannah College of Art and Design)
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Wednesday 8 March, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on anthropologist / artists using collage as speculative future imaginary. Collage is a ubiquitous technique using appropriated, cut-up, juxtaposed elements in re-constructed individual and collaborative expression. It is a medium currently under-theorised, despite its ubiquity.

Long Abstract:

This panel focuses on anthropologist / artists using the collage medium as speculative future imaginary through discovering and creating collage worlds. Artists since the early twentieth century have produced for example, mixed-media collages, sculptural forms and installations so anthropologists have also worked with word/image compositions and exhibition formats (Clifford, 1988; Sansi ,2015; Schneider & Wright, 2015). Collage as a medium and technique is currently developing in a variety of contexts and the panel offers an examination of how anthropologists can further use collage to expand their ways of working.

We suggest collage (including animation, assemblage, montage and photo-montage) has specific properties and operations. It can be digital or analogue, but generally implies found sources, cut-up, juxtaposed and layered, using appropriation, absurdity and dis-junction to challenge meaning and indicate new possibilities. Collage recycles waste components, is cheap to make and requires minimal tools and artistic expertise to be realised individually or collaboratively. It seems to have arisen at times of war and pandemic as an especially pertinent means to express and cope with the nature of collapse and trauma. It is cited as having creative therapeutic possibility and empowering under-represented communities and collaborative identity (Farebrother, 2009; Kanyer, 2021; Henderson, 2021), where the ‘undercommons’ is the necessary means of transmission (Stefano and Moten, 2013). We combine theory from art, film and literature: Baldacci et al (2018), Banash (2013), Brockelman (2001), Drag (2020), Etgar (2017), Flood et al (2009), Hoffman (1989), McLeod et al (2011).

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 8 March, 2023, -
Panel Video visible to paid-up delegates