Anthropological visions. atlases of difference, multimedia arcades and non-linear arguments
Cristina Grasseni (Utrecht University)
Florian Walter (Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin)
Nadine Wanono (IMAf- CNRS)
Peter Ian Crawford (UiT - The Arctic University of Norway)
Visual Anthropology
Chemistry G.53
Thursday 8 August, 9:00-10:00, 11:00-12:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Collective representation and countervisuality feature prominently in current practices of visual research. We'll test the idea of the ethnographer as broker, mapper or architect rather than "auteur", using multi-sensory, multi-linear and multi-voice formats to enhance transcultural understandings.

Long abstract:

This panel calls for reflections on methodological innovation, from collaborative film work (Engelbrecht, Crawford) to "transcultural partnership" (Walter).

Any "schooling of the eye" tells us about the hegemonic discourse of the social contexts in which it is implemented (Grasseni 2007). The ethnographic focus of this session is the ambivalent practice of competent visual knowledge in classifying and representing "others" and "self". Classifying at first encounter, just as much as being recognized and categorized, is part and parcel of an everyday ecology of culture for most persons' daily social life. Nevertheless, to recognize that stereotypes and discrimination are commonly practiced is a perilous exercise (Geschiere 2009). In fact, the current age of global heritage is characterized precisely by the intertwining of xenophobia, heritage discourse and a moral representation of collective memory.

From a stylistic and methodological point of view, we invite contributions that engage in "a re-focalization of the ethnographic gaze on the production of ideological sentiments" (Herzfeld 2012), based on active fieldwork and formal experimentation. The synchronous and open format of interactive/multimodal/multilayer productions encourages interdisciplinary cooperation and an attempt to think participatively and laterally. Can non-linear narrative and participative mapping negotiate the power imbalance and the multiple possibilities embodied in the representative process?

P.Crawford, B.Engelbrecht, Future Past - Cultural Heritage and Collaborative Ethnographic Film Work. Intervention Press, 2012.

P.Geschiere, The Perils of Belonging: Autochthony, Citizenship, and Exclusion in Africa and Europe. Chicago, 2009.

C.Grasseni, Skilled Visions. Between Apprenticeship and Standards. Berghahn, 2007.

M.Herzfeld, "Radici antiche, razzismi recenti", Xenoi, Cagliari, 2012.