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Imagining Differently: Challenging Neoliberal Media Ecologies in Futures Visual Anthropology 
Rajat Nayyar (York University)
Rana El Kadi (Toronto Metropolitan University)
Jared Epp (Carleton University)
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Karen Waltorp (University of Copenhagen)
Tuesday 7 March, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This panel highlights the importance of grounding our visual anthropology methodologies in decolonial ontologies and radical ethics: How can we imagine differently and co-create multimodal outputs that challenge narratives produced by capitalist and xenophobic media ecologies?

Long Abstract:

This panel extends our conversations at Emergent Futures CoLab (EFC) around ontological frameworks that may allow scholars to imagine differently in times of radical uncertainty. Visual anthropologists have recently been developing and employing creative methodologies to speculate and imagine new, alternative futures with their interlocutors (Culhane & Elliott, 2017; Salazar et al., 2017). As curators of Talking Uncertainty, EFC's online talk series and podcast, we have been hosting scholars engaging with futurisms within indigenous, disability, migration, and aging studies, among others. These discussions have alerted us to a serious issue: in our rush to take up innovative, often utopia-driven future-making methodologies, we risk imposing colonial frameworks of imagination (Kazubowski-Houston, 2020) and even our own potentially colonial desire for speculating new futures (Chandler, 2022). Such approaches can result in releasing images and stories that reinforce narratives produced by larger neoliberal, colonial, racist, sexist, xenophobic, and ableist media ecologies (Waltorp, 2022). These conversations have shown us the importance of grounding our methodologies in decolonial ontologies and radical ethics in order to avoid advancing the logic of enslavement, extractivism, and genocide (Manning, 2020). In this panel, we ask: How might decolonial ontologies inform our imaginative methodologies that allow us to become "radical bricoleurs," to co-create with humans and more-than-humans multimodal outputs that "cannot so easily be appropriated by a capitalist value system" (Alvarez Astacio et. al, 2021)? We invite papers that highlight how visual anthropologists and interlocutors are navigating these issues and critically gesturing towards decolonizing imagination in their work on speculative futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 7 March, 2023, -
Panel Video visible to paid-up delegates