EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

(P078)
Working with images in (un-)stable times [VANEASA]
Location SO-D220
Date and Start Time 17 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Sessions 1

Convenors

  • Beate Engelbrecht (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity) email
  • Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS) email

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Short abstract

Visual anthropologists collaborate in manifold ways with people who are on the move, settling down or staying behind to document and analyse their situation. What are the advantages of working with images in these contexts? What are the experiences and which types of publication are most rewarding?

Long abstract

The processes of globalization and migration affect many people all over the world. They fuel many discussions on identity and belonging as well as on cultural and societal changes. At the same time, people are looking for new orientation or seeking to preserve certain traditions -back home and on the move. Communication is a key element for everyone involved and audio-visual means are essential in this context.

Visual and media anthropologists are studying these processes through the lens of different media. They are communicating with the people concerned in diverse ways and use audio-visual devices themselves. Additionally, they look for adequate forms to publish their findings. Hereby, not only the ways of collaboration but also new modes of audio-visual creation are at stake. Increasingly, experimental approaches are tested. This panel examines different research contexts and asks which kind of findings can be obtained by working with images. What do images contribute in the discourse on "Staying, Moving, Settling"? In what ways are images offering people the means to handle their situation and which new insights can researchers gain from that?

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Turkish popular television series as the connecting element of the Arab World?

Author: Maja Dolinar (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts) email
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Short abstract

The paper aims to answer the question of whether the movement of Turkish drama series across the Arab world contributes to the development of a shared sense of unity within the Arab world in the eyes of Moroccan women.

Long abstract

Regionalization and transnational identity of the Arab television

industry has enabled the popularity of Arab drama series. In the last

decade, the Arab audiences that were used of being exposed to culturally

specific content that addressed their regional identities, have been

increasingly exposed to Turkish drama series, which were introduced to

the region under the assumption of cultural proximity. This cultural

proximity relates to shared Islamic practices, historical experiences,

as well as social aspects, for example the context of arranged

marriages, respect for elders and big families living together. Arab

audiences are increasingly exposed to stories, where the main heroines

are beautiful, career-oriented and sexually aware women. Such exposure

in turn results in the emergence of a battlefield in the Arab world

between the televised representation of emancipated women and the

condemnation by Arab religious/political conservative leaders.

The paper deals with the influence of the political, social and cultural

realities, portrayed in Turkish drama series, broadcasted in the Arab

media, on the construction of the identity of Arab women. Based on

extensive ethnographic fieldwork, carried out in 2013 in Morocco, I deal

with the question of whether the movement of Turkish drama series across

the Arab world contributes to the development of a shared sense of

unity. On the one hand the series are seen as a bridge between both

shores of the Mediterranean, on the other hand the cultural distance is

recreated within each episode as the Turkish way of life is perceived to

be more 'European' than 'Arab'.

Visualising the unseen: Understanding the situation of migrant workers in Thailand through the camera lens

Author: Piyarat Panlee (University of Sussex) email
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Short abstract

This paper takes visual representation as an interdisciplinary field of practice to explore the relationship between popular culture, politics and migration. Based on field experiences, the paper argues that audio-visual practices reveal the everyday life and social mobility of the migrant.

Long abstract

This paper takes visual representation as an interdisciplinary field of practice to explore the relationship between popular culture, politics and migration. Based on field experiences in Thailand, the paper argues that audio-visual practices reveal the everyday life and social mobility of the migrant. Arising from an interest in visual methods of observing and analysing such everyday life, particularly within the context of a contemporary capitalist society, it sets out to explore how visual representation facilitates an understanding of the process of migrating and settling.

By using photographs as a key resource to capture this socio-economic phenomenon, the paper focuses on how photographs impact on visual reflexivity in ethnographic fieldwork. It also aims to challenge the prevailing representation of migrant workers in the visual landscape in Thai academia. Moreover, by exploring relationships to place, this paper sheds light on the invisible work of invisible workers in the transformation of Thai society in the age of the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) through a photography project. In so doing, it argues that visual representations illustrate the diversity of migrant workers and their memories, experiences and social relationships.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.