14th EASA Biennial Conference
Anthropological legacies and human futures
Department of Human Science for Education 'Riccardo Massa' and Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Milano-Bicocca
20-23 July, 2016
Films and other audio-visual contributions
Convenors/curators: Paolo S. H. Favero (University of Antwerp); Ivan Bargna (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
A core challenge for contemporary anthropology is learning to project itself, its past and legacies, towards future scenarios. Yet, how can we envision the future? How can we envision what cannot yet be heard, seen or felt? How do societies and cultures engage with this unpredictable notion?
We believe that audio-visual media play a central role in this quest. Media is a terrain of experimentation with novel ways for exploring the social and material world, for teaching and for communicating our research results with the scientific community and the outer world. Media inscribe the future in our ongoing dialogues between the present and our disciplinary past.
The audio-visual programme will offer a window onto the variety of possibilities for conducting, teaching and communicating anthropological research that characterize contemporary and possible future scenarios. Acknowledging the extent to which anthropological audio-visual practices today are largely entangled with the technologies, practices and modalities of communication that can be found in other fields we have opened up the program to a broad range of formats.
We therefore have included: ethnographic documentary film (short and long formats), ethnographic fiction films and ethnographic short films, installations, photo essays, soundscapes, interactive documentaries, non-linear productions, videogames, embodied technologies, visual performances, etc.
"Relatogramas" (ethnographic drawings) by Carla Boserman (University of Barcelona Design Center)
There will be a live intervention by Carla during the Early Career Scholars Forum (Plenary C). She will make her relatogramas live during the speeches. She will then present them in more depth in Presentation session 8 (see below).
The films, U12 (Auditorium)
Wednesday 20 July
14:30-16:15: Film session 1
Paradise In My Mind
Sandra Mooser (Universit of Bern)
Predictions of what might happen in the future are strongly linked with the human imagination. Films allow us to give such imagery a visible form. They enable us to re-enact past events, pre-experience the future and make others learn from them. This is also the goal of this film.
16:45-18:45: Film session 2
Nightfall on Gaia
Juan Francisco Salazar (Western Sydney University)
90 minutes, followed by 30 minutes Q&A
Nightfall on Gaia is a speculative ethnographic film that depicts the lives and visions of human communities living in the Antarctic Peninsula.
Thursday 21 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 3
Kalanda - The Knowledge of the Bush
Lorenzo Ferrarini (University of Manchester)
A documentary film about donsoya, the knowledge of initiated hunters in Burkina Faso.
Bread of Life: The Word / The Silence
Vlad Naumescu (Central European University) and Klara Trencsenyi
Bread of Life series consists of two short documentaries about modes of Christian devotion and spiritual pursuit in South India today. The films explore Orthodox Sunday schools and Christian ashrams, taking a different cinematic approach in each case to grasp their distinct rhythms of prayer.
11:15-13:00: Film session 4
Rachel Andersen Gomez, Britt Kramvig (The Arctic University Of Norway)
An documentary in the form of a twenty-first century Arctic road-movie. Viewed through the camera lens of a philosopher, it is inspired by a line from the poem Dreamland. A journey through people-places in Arctic landscapes give viewers glimpse moments of a sublime, the subject of Poe’s poem.
Snail eating theatre
Khadija von Zinnenburg Carrol (University of Oxford), Claire Loussouarn (Goldsmiths, University of London)
The Snail Eating Theatre is what the architect, a Fitzcarraldo of sorts, calls his building - Theatre Royal Marrakech - which is the subject of this experimental and poetic visual ethnography. It is a portrait of a colonial opera entrapped in ruins.
Laundry Lives: Everyday Life and Environmental Sustainability in Indonesia
Sarah Pink (RMIT University)
Laundry Lives focuses on the changing domestic lives of the country’s rapidly expanding professional middle classes. It examines the implications of the shifting gender relations, new technologies and environmental concerns for in the design of sustainable futures.
13:45: Lunchtime film
Megabit: Waiting for a rain
Keiichiro Matsumura (Okayama University)
This film focuses on Ethiopian women who try to work as domestic labours in the Middle East with depicting the village life at the end of dry season. It shows the waved feelings of the people who wait for good news and a better future.
17:00: Evening film
Crossing a River, Losing a Self : Retelling an ancient Indian folk tale
Rajat Nayyar (Tallinn University)
The film retells an old Indian folk tale about a guru and his 8 disciples are making a pilgrimage to Kashi (India's holiest city). In order to reach the sacred city, they must cross a treacherous river.
Friday 22 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 5
These Objects, Those Memories
This is a split-screen film on long-term Zimbabwean female migrants, their objects and associated memories in Cape Town, South Africa.
Women in Sink
Iris Zaki (Royal Holloway University of London)
In a Christian Arab hair-salon in Israel, the director installs a camera over the washing-basin, where she converses with the clients she is shampooing - Arab and Jewish women - on politics, life and love.
The Sacred in the Secular
Karin Leivategija (Estonian National Museum)
Toomas is an Estonian Orthodox clergyman who is deeply committed to music. He is a deacon at church and a DJ in clubs and radio. It is a controversial combination even in a largely secular country like Estonia. But is the gap between religious and secular life as wide as it is typically assumed?
Verolengo Good Friday Procession - La processione del Venerdì Santo a Verolengo
Luca Ghiardo (Università di Scienze Gastronomiche)
The Good Friday parade in Verolengo, a town near Turin, is a particularly striking example of Italian folk religious practice. The video presents the feast and describes the rites, their meanings and its tradition by documenting the feast and collecting the experiences of the protagonists of the ritual.
11:15-13:00: Film session 6
Il faut donner à manger aux gens. Cultural Food Practices in Cameroon
Ivan Bargna (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Paola Anziche
The video produced by Lab Expo and The Giangiacomo Feltrinelli foundation, studies the social and cultural importance of food customs both in the rural and urban tradition, from the city of Douala to the Grassfields.
Riding My Tiger - Trilogi Jawa III
Breuer Ascan (University of Vienna)
The filmmaker searches for the spirit of a tiger said to have haunted the house of his ancestors on Java.
13:45: Lunchtime film
Ghora. Waiting for the Goddess.
Alessandro Cartosio, Irene Majo Garigliano (CNRS, Centre d’Études Himalayennes)
Temple of the Goddess Kamakhya. India. August 2013. Within a few days Ghoras will dance. What do Shiva Nath Das and Deviram Das feel about the possession they undergo?
Saturday 23 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 7
A song for Mursal
Kristin Nicolaysen (Nicolaysen Film AS)
Elise and Mursal (9) are best friends. While Elise has lived her entire life in Alta, northern Norway, Mursal is a refugee from Afghanistan, seeking asylum in Norway. Now the girls' friendship is threatened by the fact that Mursal might any day be transported out of Norway.
Other Europe (Altra Europa) and Landing (Approdi)
A long documentary and a short experimental webdoc about about the living condition of some Somali and Sudanese refugees in Italy produced by Azul (www.azulfilm.com).
11:15-13:00: Film session 8
REZEKI Gold and stone mining in Aceh
Giacomo Tabacco (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Parsifal Reparato (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Silvia Vignato (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
The film is about seeking fortune and fast money in post-tsunami, post-conflict and resource-rich West Aceh (Indonesia). It is a choral description of the relationship between a female-centred agricultural work and the male risky work of gold miners.
Fighting for Nothing to Happen
The film accompanies a relocation project in eastern Indonesia. The film provides insights in the topics of development and religion, brokerage, political structures in decentralized Indonesia and the local culture of Flores.
17:00-18:45: Film session 9
Maputo:Ethnography of a Divided City
Fábio Ribeiro (Anima Estúdio Criativo), João Graça (ANIMA), Inge Tvedten (Chr. Michelsen Institute)
This film seeks to visualise Maputo in Mozambique as one of Africa's divided cities. It provides a privileged view of the way in which symbolic and material boundaries of various urban spaces are contested, negotiated and, ultimately, inscribed onto mental maps of the city with.
The presentations, U7-18
Wednesday 20 July
14:30-16:15: Presentation session 1
A.F. Weiss Bentzon's "Is Launeddas". The "archeology" of an ethnographic film.
Dante Olianas (Iscandula), Umberto Cao (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)
The contribution is about the making of a "modern" documentary from a rediscovered ethnographic footage. It explores the hermeneutic effort between the original author's views, approaches and purposes and the editors' ones, and between past and present theories, languages and technologies.
My Name is Ratu Kidul: an art-anthropology collaboration
Seruni Bodjawati (Indonesian Institute of Arts Yogyakarta), Felicia Hughes-Freeland (SOAS)
This short film is a poetic evocation of Ratu Kidul (Queen of the South Sea), an important female figure in Javanese myth and political symbolism. As a transcultural art-anthropology collaboration it demonstrates the productive capacity of long friendships formed during anthropological research.
"You see and you feel everything..." - Experiencing dyslexia
Ruth Gibbons (Massey University, New Zealand)
This short film combines work created through collaborative practices exploring and representing experiences of everyday dyslexic experience. Through the sensory explorations of embodied knowing the piece uses animation, sound and photography to communicate the worlding of my collaborators.
16:45-18:30: Presentation session 2
Heterotopic sound at work and rest: documenting daily soundscapes of precarious market workers in Moscow
Anton Nikolotov (Berlin Graduate School of Muslim Cultures and Societies), Bekzod Chirmashev
This is a work-in-progress field recording composition made from a collection of sonic diaries, fieldwork aphorisms and interceptions of the security guards’ communications in a para-formal market in Moscow.
Thursday 21 July
10:00-10:45 Presentation session 3
The embodiment of conflict. The prohibition of Sign Language in Dutch elderly deaf people's younger years.
Anja Hiddinga (Unversity of Amsterdam)
In this ‘film-in-progress’ different images are combined: edited interviews of the two main Dutch protagonists in the controversy over the use of Dutch Sign Language in deaf education, footage showing the embodied communicative practices of elderly deaf people in signing and non-signing hands.
Friday 22 July
09:00-10:45: Presentation session 5
Elderscapes. Ageing in Urban South Asia - Introduction to an interactive documentary
Roberta Mandoki (Heidelberg University), Annika Mayer (Heidelberg University), Jakob Gross
The interactive documentary offers an insight into everyday life of older people from the middle class in urban South Asia. Interweaving multiple media like text, video and sound this project contributes to contemporary visual anthropology.
Dinner of desires
Sara Bramani, Emilio Fantin
Dinner of desires is an artistic and anthropological project involving homeless people: Desire, imagination, need, deprivation, value and renunciation, differently experienced by each one, come to light in the participated preparation of a special dinner.
11:15-13:00: Presentation session 6
Designing an ethno-graphic platform: An expanded window on fieldwork practice.
Based on the premises of the graphic novel Lissa, this web platform explores the process and significance of translating ethnographic research into a new visual genre. The digital platform aims to outdo the standards of linear reading allowing users to navigate multiple paths of inquiry.
Saturday 23 July
09:00-10:45: Presentation session 7
Bréviaire d'un regard - Breviary of a Vision Tome III The Ovahimba Years / Rina Sherman
Rina Sherman (ACA LTFA)
Transmedia présentation "The Ovahimba Years" visual ethnography study in Namiba and Angola; the genesis, 7 years of fieldwork, research results and conservation donation of my archive to the French National Library and subsequent multimedia exhibition at the BnF-François Mitterrand in Paris (2015).
11:15-13:00: Presentation session 8
The role of multisensory, embodied and participatory media in the production and dissemination of ethnographic knowledge
Tom Jackson (University of Leeds)
This presentation will show how an experimental combination of multisensory, embodied and participatory media might create vivid records of the field, facilitate the collaborative creation and analysis of research materials and challenge traditional models of disseminating ethnographic knowledge.
"Relatogramas" (ethnographic drawings): presentation and discussion
Carla Boserman (University of Barcelona Design Center)
Carla's relatogramas featured during the talks of the Early Career Scholars Forum (Plenary C). This presentation will show part of a research process that addresses the use of graphic account as ethnographic field device. It problematizes the idea of recording the ineffable in collaborative contexts.
Saturday 23 July
The anthropologist as curator: a roundtable
Convenor: Roger Sansi (Universitat de Barcelona)
17:00-18:45: Pirelli HangarBicocca (Via Privata Chiese 2, 20126 Milano)
A lot has been said about “The Artist as Ethnographer/ The Ethnographer as Artist". But “The Anthropologist as Curator/the curator as anthropologist " hasn’t received the same attention. We invite anthropologists with experience in curating to think together about the “Anthropologist as curator”.
Participants: Ivan Bargna (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca), Paolo S. H. Favero (University of Antwerp), Judith Winter (University of Aberdeen), Paul Basu (SOAS), Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov (Higher School of Economics), Jennifer Clarke (University of Aberdeen).
Convenor: Pedram Khosronejad (Oklahoma State University)
Program assistant: Kamnoush Khosrovani (PhD. candidate in Anthropology, GSRL : Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités, CNRS-EPHE, France)
We are pleased to announce the third Ethnographic Film and Media Programme of the Middle East and Central Eurasia, which is held annually in conjunction with the Anthropology of the Middle East and Central Eurasia Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). The goal of our programme is to promote original ethnographic films and visual media, not only in the area of anthropology, but also in sociology, folklore, religion, material culture and related topics. Our programme encompasses all areas of the contemporary Middle East and Central Eurasia (the Russian Federation, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China), including topics on minority groups and religious themes. Our main focus for this year's programme is on "war, crises, refugees, migration and Islamophobia".
Thursday 21 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 3, U6-4:
The Night of Infatuation
Nasser Saffarian (2015)
89 minutes, Iran
The Night of Infatuation is a vibrant musical documentary about Iranian music, history and culture throughout the 1900s. The documentary film retrospective is punctuated by the personal reflections of Iranian music critics, singers and composers.
11:15-13:00: Film session 4, U6-4:
Salmon, Bears, Love Dances among the Itelmen on Kamchatka
Christoph Boekel (2015)
44 minutes, Germany
As recently as the seventeenth century, the Itelmen were a population of twenty thousand, and the sole inhabitants of the southern half of Kamchatka, a large peninsula on the Pacific coast of northern Asia. The Itelmen were violently decimated in the aftermath of colonization by the Cossacks under the Russian Czar. Today, there are 1,500 Itelmen survivors – less than 1% of the Kamchatkan population. With the aid of German explorer G. W. Steller's (1709 – 1746) historic observations, they are attempting to revive parts of the ancient Itelmen culture.
The Black Flag
Majed Neisi (2015)
62 minutes, Iraq
Shi'a Muslims all over Iraq are taking up arms to combat the spread of the Islamic State. Iranian filmmaker Majed Neisi travels to the edge of Anbar Province, to embed himself with the under-equipped but determined volunteers fighting to rescue their country from the onslaught of ISIS. Filmed in the battlefield as bullets ricochet all around, The Black Flag provides a powerful look at the Shi'a men fighting the Islamic State.
Friday 22 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 5, U6-4:
Deux Fois Le neme Fleuve (Same River Twice)
Effi Weiss and Amir Borenstein (2015)
110 minutes, Belgium
In 1869, John McGregor, arrived in Palestine to explore the Jordan River. In 2011, Effi and Amir, Israelis who have been living in Europe for the past decade, set out to retrace McGregor’s steps. Against the backdrop of a mythical landscape overflowing with Israeli vacationers, they journey down the river’s path. At the same time local and foreign, they gradually transform from traveler-explorers to 'explored travelers' - as the people they meet along the way unabashedly confront them about their relationship with the land they had left. The trip raises questions of kinship and ownership, proximity and distance, and exposes the biographical and ideological filters that condition our connection to a place.
11:15-13:00: Film session 6, U6-4:
The Color of Soil
Hamed Zolfaghari (2016)
52 minutes, Iran
A group of young Iranian artists work round the clock to bring the island’s ecological richness to life, creating what they consider to be one of the largest soil carpets in the world. However some argue their environmental art work is hurting more than helping the environment. Every year a group of young Iranian artists, led by environmental artist Ahmad Kargaran, come together on Hormuz Island to create a world record environmental artwork: the largest soil carpet in the world. An astonishing range of colours coming from the different soils found across the island are used by the band of artists, working round the clock to bring this piece to life. However some people on the island don’t agree with their work and argue the carpet is more harmful than helpful for the environment. On an island with little financial means and an array of rare soils, this carpet could be just the event to boost the island’s ecological attractions, or destroy them.
I Comme Iran (I For Iran)
Sanaz Azari (2015)
50 minutes, Belgium
Brussels, behind the closed doors of a classroom. Using a textbook dating from the Islamic revolution, Sanaz Azari, the director, learns how to read and write in Persian, her mother tongue. Over the course of the lessons, the teacher initiates her to the basics of the language, which becomes a gateway to the history and culture of Iran. Gradually, the didactic method of the lessons evolves into a poetic, visual collage, which introduces the notion of freedom and questions the meaning of a revolution.
Saturday 23 July
09:00-10:45: Film session 7, U6-4:
The Tentmakers of Cairo (صانعي الخيام في القاهرة )
Kim Beamish (2015)
94 minutes, Australia
For over three years we follow a community of artisans whose craft has remained largely untouched since Pharaonic times. They try and make sense of Egypt’s recent history, as their hands stitch incredibly detailed designs. Contrasts exist not only in the imagery where art works clash with the dirt and grime of the street, but also in the social differences, wealth and political views. The shop becomes a discussion and rhetoric free space of intergenerational transmissions of timeless knowledge; the street of the tentmakers becomes a mirror of a larger public space where we read the country’s political turmoil and the external world: a vital economic and social window.
11:15-13:00: Film session 8, U6-4:
This was Hasankeyf
Tommaso Vitali (2015)
90 minutes,United Kingdom, Italy, Turkey
This is a deep political and poetic ethnography within - and a tribute to - this small community, where beauty derides death - the last possibility to live among its citizens, where the magnetic legacy of past cultures is intertwined with the desires and sorrows that the idea of Progress respectively provokes and inflicts, one sublime day living as rural heroes, exploring the petrifying perception of loss and change.