CAN Network events

The Ethnographic Salon: Performances in Doing and Undoing with Anthropology

Fiona Murphy (Dublin City University)
Eva van Roekel (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
Alisse Waterston (City University of New York, John Jay College)

Short abstract:
The Ethnographic Salon is a creative lab that features experimentation and performative exchange of artistic work-in-progress inspired by field experiences that ill-fit academic writing and theorizing. The aim of the Ethnographic Salon is to inspire innovation in ways that surprise and transform the discipline.

Long abstract:
Have you ever fantasized about writing poetry, a short story, or performing a short theater play inspired by your fieldwork to shake up a timely debate in anthropology? Building on the success of the first Ethnographic Salon at EASA-Belfast, the creative lab facilitates experimentation and performative engagements with ethnography in its broadest sense. Sponsored by the Creative Anthropologies Network (CAN) and held in a theater space near the Barcelona conference venue, the Salon invites new forms of performative ethnography by both established and emerging anthropologists. We invite creative works-in-progress designed to surprise and transform the discipline, reimagining and reconfiguring what it means to develop, collect, and convey anthropological knowledge. The Salon offers a move from the standard presentation format, undoing that tradition with experimental pieces. Possible creative forms include but are not limited to poetry slams, short story readings, radio plays, immersive soundscapes, and improvisation theater that are inspired by field experiences that ill-fit academic writing and theorizing. The Salon is a shared space for experiencing an evening of exchange with anthropologists exploring diverse artistic disciplines. One evening during the conference, we invite a maximum of fifteen presenters to individually or collectively perform their artistic work-in-progress. Pre-registration with a short description of the envisioned creative performance that (upon selection) will be performed and/or screened.

the ethnographic salon poster