call for applications: Visual Anthropology Workshop on “Visualising Crises”


Visual Anthropology Workshop on “Visualising Crises”

Ascona, Switzerland, July 30- August 3, 2012

Organised by the Centro Incontri Umani in collaboration with
University of Göttingen, University of Tromsø, University of Leiden

Centro Incontri Umani

The Socio-cultural Centre Ascona (Centro Incontri Umani Ascona) is a Swiss Foundation set up by Dr. Angela Hobart, University College London, in the memory of her parents, Dr. Edmund and Margiana Stinnes. The Centre’s aim is to promote understanding, respect and peace internationally. By encouraging exchange among scholars, students, artists and laypeople of different countries and disciplines, the Centre celebrates the capacity of humans to revitalize consciousness and remake their lived realities.

What is the aim of the workshop?

We want to explore the difficulties which one encounters producing audio-visual records based on research and publications while working on crisis and their consequences for humans.

Crisis is understood here in a broad sense: personal crises, natural crises, manmade crises.

Working on crisis can be difficult because of various reasons:
– the researcher/filmmaker might have difficulties coping with the particular incident,
– the people suffering may be making claims that are difficult to meet,
– there may be officials, institutions, organisations that are difficult to handle.
But one might have personal difficulties in:
– engaging in the crisis and the people,
– making images and audio records, editing the audio-visual records,
– presenting previous records,
– developing a film out of one’s experiences and so forth.

Dealing with all these difficulties is often lonely. There are not many people with whom one can share one’s worries, ideas, hopes, and doubts. It can be difficult to share a personal experience, but crucial in order to gain a broader perspective.

The presenters should come from different backgrounds: academic as well as documentary filmmaking. Some experts will act as moderators and critics.
The result may lead to a joint publication.

Call for applications

The latest date for submitting is May 15, 2012.

Who can apply?

– Students of anthropology in a broad sense (with a finished MA), who are currently working on a PhD thesis with film or on an audio-visual media project.
– Students of documentary filmmaking, who are currently working on a film project.
– Professionals from Anthropology, Resolution and Peace Studies, Performing Arts, Documentary Film, International Human Rights etc. working on a topic related to the project or who have finished a project and would be interested in sharing their experiences, giving insight into their work, their motivations, ideas, and possibilities to realise their intentions.

Who are the experts?

The workshop will be staffed by three academics from the organising universities:
– Prof. Peter I. Crawford, Visual Cultural Studies, University of Tromsø, Norway
– Dr. Beate Engelbrecht, University of Göttingen, Germany
– Metje Postma, University of Leiden

Where does the workshop take place?

The sessions will take place at the Monte Verita ( in Ascona.


Ten participants will be accepted for the workshop, which will take place over a period of 5 days and will consist of three components:
– Each participant will have a 2 hour session to present and discuss his/her project
– A film programme (in the evenings). The screenings are open to the public.
– A master class by an invited anthropologist / filmmaker

Your contribution to the workshop:

When a participant has been accepted for the workshop s/he should
– write a (research) paper (10 pages) presenting the topic of the research/background of the film in detail and the significance of film in the project.
Main anthropological as well as cinematographic questions, theoretical and methodological issues, and personal positions should be examined.
The major difficulties one encountered and the main questions you would like to discuss with others should be clearly pointed out.
The paper should be sent by mid-July and will be forwarded to the convenors
– make a presentation during the workshop aimed at initiating a discussion.
Each presenter will have 2 hours for the presentation and discussion and
– may contribute with a film that is screened and discussed during the workshop.


Applications must include:
– A project description to be presented (maximum two pages),
– C.V. (one page),
and should be submitted electronically (PDF file preferable), to
Dr. Beate Engelbrecht (beate.engelbrecht)
at the latest by May 15, 2012.

Responses to applications will be sent by End Mai 2012.

Fees and accommodation:

There will be no course fees.

There will be a booking fee of 150,- Euro as advance payment for the accommodation. The fee will not be refunded if participation is cancelled 6 weeks before the workshop or later.
The participants will receive a contribution to the accommodation costs and free lunches.
The participants will be responsible for their travel costs.


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