This is a selection of films and videos on mediated activism, anthropological perspectives on media and culture, and globalization and (de)colonization in relation to media. Compiled by Philipp Budka with the generous support of colleagues of the EASA Media Anthropology Network and the EASA Visual Anthropology Network.
Activism with/in/through media can be broadly understood as forms of technology mediated activism that intend to spark, create and/or support social and political change. So change (and therefore continuity) is at the heart of media activism, as, for instance, Kidd and Rodriguez (2009: 1) note: “Grassroots media have grown from a set of small and isolated experiments to a complex of networks of participatory communications that are integral to local, national, and transnational projects of social change”. Since media activism is related to a diversity of phenomena – such as power relationships, conflict or globalization – as well as to questions about the conception of time and space, organizational structures, collective identities and different forms of sociality, it has become a broad, interdisciplinary research field. This course gives an overview of media activism from a predominantly anthropological and ethnographic perspective.
When engaging with media activism, a variety of contexts, theoretical conceptualizations and methodological approaches have to be considered. In this course, students learn about these aspects by reviewing relevant literature and by discussing different forms and examples of media activism and related questions, issues and problems:
How can we contextualize media activism and related practices in anthropology?
What historical developments can we identify? And what does this tell us about contemporary activist processes and practices?
What is the role of (sociocultural and technological) change, politics, power, globalization and (de)colonization in an anthropological engagement with media activism?
How can we ethnographically describe and analyze media activist processes and practices? What are the possibilities and challenges?
How can we understand media activism in digital times and in the age of social media? What has changed?
What does it mean to interpret and conceptualize media activism as (a form or a part of) cultural activism?
Kidd, D., & Rodriguez, C. (2009). Introduction. In C. Rodriguez, D. Kidd, & L. Stein (Eds.), Making our media: Global initiatives toward a democratic public sphere, Volume 1: Creating new communication spaces (pp. 1-22). New York: Hampton Press.
Abstract Ritualisierung, Mediatisierung und Performance dienen als konzeptionelle Hilfsmittel, um Veränderungen und Kontinuitäten im Alltagsleben sozialer Akteurinnen und Akteure sowie in spezifischen Kontexten zu situieren. Dieser Band zeigt anhand konkreter ethnographischer Beispiele, dass rituelle, mediale und performative Prozesse und Praktiken idealerweise gemeinsam, in ihrer Relationalität zueinander betrachtet werden. Neben einem Schwerpunkt auf Transformation enthält der Band Beiträge zu ausgewählten Aspekten der Theorie, Methode und Geschichte der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie und zu einer Ethnographie und Kulturgeschichte der Karibik, die sozialen Status, religiöse Praxis und Erinnerung behandeln sowie Texte, die Verbindungen zwischen politischen, medialen und kulturellen Sphären diskutieren.
Ritualization, mediatization and performance are conceptual tools to situate sociocultural change and continuity in everyday life and in specific contexts. By building on ethnographic case studies, this volume demonstrates that ritual, media and performative processes and practices are best explored in relation to each other. In addition to a general focus on transformation, this book includes contributions on selected aspects of the theory, methodology and history of social and cultural anthropology. Chapters about the history and ethnography of the Caribbean that discuss social status, religious practices and cultural remembrance, as well as texts that explore the connections between political, media and cultural spheres complement the volume.
Inhaltsverzeichnis Martin Luger / Philipp Budka / Franz Graf Kultur- und sozialanthropologische Perspektiven auf Ritualisierung, Mediatisierung und Performance. Eine Einleitung Marion Linska Selbstfürsorge im Feld. Überlegungen aus existenzanalytischer Perspektive Yvonne Schaffler / Bernd Brabec de Mori »Cuando el misterio insiste« – »Wenn sich der Geist Gehör verschafft«. Die Kunst der Überzeugung im dominikanischen Vodou Stephanie Schmiderer Präsenz der Gottheiten. Zum Verständnis transformativer Performance im haitianischen Vodou und seiner Diaspora Elke Mader Rund um die Palme. Rituelle Prozesse, indigene Politik und Medien in Ecuador Birgit Bräuchler Praxeologische Überlegungen zur Mediatisierungsdebatte. Eine ethnologische Perspektive Philipp Budka Von der Cyberanthropologie zur Digitalen Anthropologie. Über die Rolle der Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie im Verstehen soziotechnischer Lebenswelten Manfred Kremser »Shango is a Powerful Fellow!«. Repräsentation spiritueller Macht in afrokaribischen Kulturen Adelheid Pichler Artefakte und Erinnerung. Ein Beitrag zur Interpretation materieller Kultur in den afrokubanischen Religionen Werner Zips »She’s Royal« – »Queenmothers« in Ghana. Ein afrikanisches Rollenmodell für Jamaika Manfred Kremser / Franz Graf / Gertraud Seiser »Ein Leben scannen«. Fragmentarische Retrospektive von und auf Manfred Kremser
This course gives an overview about material culture as a conceptual and practical approach to understand digital and visual technologies. In doing so, it focuses on digital technologies, their visual aspects and how they are integrated and utilized in everyday life.
Mobile networked digital media technologies, such as smart phones, as well as social media platforms and services, such as Facebook or Instagram, have become important (visual) communication and (re)presentation tools. For social and cultural anthropology it is of particular interest how these digital devices and technologies are integrated and embedded into everyday life, by considering changing sociocultural, political and economic contexts. This course focuses in particular on the material aspects of digital and visual technologies and how they are utilized on a day-to-day basis. Questions about the relevance of a material culture approach for (the understanding of) technology appropriation on a theoretical and practical level as well as questions about (culturally) different usage practices are discussed. How does the understanding and conceptualisation of digital and visual technology as material culture contribute to the exploration and analyses of contemporary and emerging sociocultural practices and processes in increasingly digital societies?
By working on different case studies, students get a comparative overview about material culture in the context of digital and visual technologies. Students conduct small empirical research projects within teams.
Budka, P. (2018). The anthropology of digital visuality: Notes on comparison, context and relationality. Paper at Vienna Anthropology Days 2018 (VANDA2018), Vienna, Austria: University of Vienna, 20 September.
Sociocultural anthropology provides theoretical approaches and concepts to comparatively study local life-worlds, to contextualize cultural meaning, and to (re)consider human/non-human and socio-technical relations that have been emerging with digital media technologies (e.g. Horst & Miller 2012, Moore 2012, Whitehead & Wesch 2012). Ethnography and ethnographic fieldwork, as methodological tools, allow for investigating digital practices and processes by considering the above aspects (Pink et al. 2016). For anthropology it is of particular interest how people engage on a day-to-day basis with digital media and technologies, internet-based devices and services, mobile computing as well as software applications and digital platforms.
In this paper, I discuss, from an anthropological perspective and through brief ethnographic examples, digital visuality as a contemporary phenomenon that constitutes emerging patterns of visual communication and culture. In addition, I am briefly discussing digital visuality as a concept to approach and investigate the visual in digital times.
Digital media technologies and mobile networked devices, such as smart phones, have become ubiquitous means of visual production, communication and representation (e.g. Gómez Cruz et al. 2017). Moreover, digital platforms and social media services, such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, are utilized to share and consume visual artefacts. Constituting and changing thus communicative practices and visual culture alike. Consequently, these transformation processes provide new challenges and possibilities for the anthropological and ethnographic study of the visual (e.g. Pink 2011).
Budka, P. (2018). [Review of the book Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces, by U. U. Frömming, S. Köhn, S. Fox & M. Terry]. Anthropos, 113(1), 303-304.
The edited volume “Digital Environments: Ethnographic Perspectives Across Global Online and Offline Spaces” is a collection of 16 essays by students and graduates of the M.A. Programme in Visual and Media Anthropology at the Free University Berlin. This is the first special feature of the book. The second is the anthropological and ethnographic perspective from which the individual texts discuss a diversity of digital technologies, platforms, services as well as related sociocultural phenomena, events and practices. As Sarah Pink in the book’s foreword notes, these texts and the underlying projects “focus on central issues of the discipline … through the prism of visual and media anthropology” (p. 10). Being not part of the anthropological mainstream, this visual and media anthropology perspective holds the potential of providing exiting new insights in digital culture and our increasingly digitalised societies. The digital ethnography perspective, on the other hand, focuses on “the ways in which technologies have become inseparable from other materialities and human activities” including ethnographic fieldwork, as Urte Undine Frömming, Steffen Köhn, Samantha Fox and Mike Terry note in the introduction chapter (p. 15). Continue reading Review: Digital environments: Ethnographic perspectives across global online and offline spaces
This panel recognizes the digital turn as a paradigm shift in the anthropological study of media, and aims to push further the ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital media play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations.
What’s New? Turns, Re-turns in Digitalization of Danish Right-wing Online Vitriol Language
Peter Hervik (Aalborg University)
Extreme Speech: Online Media Cultures as a Context for Right-Wing Politics
Sahana Udupa (Ludwig Maximilian University Munich)
Populist Masculine Domination in the Moments of Trump and Brexit: On the importance of Big <-> Thick Description
Bryce Peake (University of Maryland)
Rethinking Women’s Agency and Digital Media in the Middle East
Elisabetta Costa (University of Groningen)
Gendering Chinese Digital Media Politics
Samuel Lengen (Anglia Ruskin University)
Gender, Kinship and Mediation in Rural West Bengal, India
Sirpa Tenhunen (University of Helsinki)
An Ethnography of Young People`s Gender Negotiations in Everyday Digital (Sexual) Peer Cultures
Irene Arends (University of Amsterdam)
The Material Dimension of Digital Visuality: Anthropological Possibilities, Challenges and Futures
Philipp Budka (University of Vienna)
Matters of Similarity: Affordances of Digital Visualities
Christoph Bareither (Humboldt-University Berlin)
Digital Visualities Disrupted – Local Photographers in Aleppo and the Shifting Infrastructures of War
Nina Grønlykke Mollerup (University of Copenhagen)
In this course, students are introduced to indigenous media technologies by actively discussing in 10 units/sessions different questions, issues and problems:
How do indigenous people produce, distribute and utilize audiovisual media?
How has ethnographic and anthropological film making changed through indigenous media?
What role do politics, power, globalization and (post-)colonialism play in the production, distribution and consumption of indigenous media?
How do indigenous people utilize media to construct and negotiate their individual and collective identities?
How are indigenous cultures and languages represented through media?
How do indigenous people appropriate and (co-)develop digital media technologies?
We start our seminar with the contextualization of indigenous media within an anthropology of media. In the second unit students are introduced to selected debates about the meaning and relevance of (mass) media for indigenous people and their sociocultural life worlds. We then discuss ethnographic film making and visual anthropology in the context of indigenous people’s changing role from “objects” for ethnographic films to partners in (collaborative) media projects. The fourth unit deals with (post-)colonialism and decolonization and their implications for indigenous media. This discussion leads us to the self-controlled production of indigenous media and its relevance for issues such as (self-)representation, appropriation, control and empowerment. Globalization, modernity and related questions of collective indigenous identity construction are the topics of the sixth unit. The following three sessions are closely connected, discussing aspects of identity, community, networking, ownership, activism, empowerment, aesthetics, poetics and popular culture in relation to indigenous media. In the final unit, students learn about the significance of digital technologies and infrastructures for indigenous people.
Through several case studies, students are introduced to the similarities and differences of indigenous media projects throughout the world. These case studies take us to different regions, countries and continents: from Nunavut, Canada and the United States to the Caribbean, Guatemala, Mexico and Brazil, to Nigeria, Myanmar, Australia and Finland. The seminar’s assignments include the preparation of an essay at the end of the seminar and short weekly literature and film reviews/critiques as well as an active contribution to discussions during the online sessions, which are organized with the online conference tool Adobe Connect.
Presentations in English or German, max. 15 min.
Abstract of 350 words: https://vanda.univie.ac.at/call-for-papers/
Deadline: 1 June 2018
Venue: New Institute Building (NIG) of the University of Vienna
Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Vienna, Austria
Visual communication and visual culture have been a research focus in social and cultural anthropology for quite some time (e.g. Banks & Ruby, 2011). With the advent of digital media and technologies, internet-based devices and services, mobile computing as well as software applications and digital platforms new opportunities and challenges have come to the forefront in anthropological research, education and communication of visuality (e.g. Pink, 2011). Digital media technologies have become ubiquitous means of visual communication, interaction and representation. For anthropology and its subdisciplines, such as digital, media and visual anthropology, it is of particular interest how people engage with digital media and technologies, how “the digital“ is embedded in everyday life and how it relates to different social practices and cultural processes in human societies. By considering changing sociocultural, political and economic contexts and through ethnographic fieldwork, a continuously growing number of anthropological projects is aiming for a better understanding of contemporary digital phenomena (e.g. Horst & Miller, 2012).
This session contributes to these endeavours by inviting papers that focus on the visuality and visual aspects of digital life and culture. Papers could present ethnographic studies and discuss some of the following questions:
What does “the digital” mean for visual anthropology and/or the (interdisciplinary) relationship between anthropological subdisciplines and other visual research fields?
How does visual anthropology provide new perspectives on digital visuality?
How do specific conceptual approaches contribute to the analysis and understanding of digital visuality (e.g. ritualization, performativity, representation, material culture, practice theory)?
What theoretical concepts and analytical categories of sociality can be used to study (differences of) visual culture?
How does digital visuality co-constitute and mediate cultural performances and rituals?
How do digital platforms and social media services, such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat, and related practices constitute and change (visual) communication?
How does digital visuality impact and redefine ethnographic research (e.g. research techniques, tools, ethics)?
What are possible futures for digital visual anthropology and ethnography?
For questions concerning this session, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions concerning registration, abstract submission and hotel reservation, please contact email@example.com
The digital turn in media anthropology signals the growing importance of digital media technologies in contemporary sociocultural, political and economic processes. This panel recognizes the digital turn as a paradigm shift in the anthropological study of media, and aims to foreground three important streams of exploration that constitute new directions in the anthropology of media.
The rise of online vitriol against vulnerable communities has punctured euphoric pronouncements about digital media as a radical enabler of grassroots democracy. A significant aspect of digital extreme speech is gender based violence in digital environments. Beyond the specific instances of online violence, gendering media anthropology remains a crucial and broader area of intervention. Similarly, different forms of digital visualities have accentuated the materialities that constitute everyday digital experiences and their varied cultural ramifications. Charting the three directions as gendering digital media, materialities of digital visualities and online extreme speech, this panel aims to push further the ethnographic knowledge into the role that digital media play in people’s everyday life and broader sociopolitical transformations.
We invite ethnographic and/or theoretical papers that focus either on
(1) the gendered dimension of digital practices and introduce innovative theoretical insights into the relationship between gender and the digital;
(2) extreme speech and online vitriol aimed at refugees, migrants, sexual minorities and other vulnerable communities, but online extreme speech as also a means for political contestation;
(3) material dimensions of digital visualities as constituting features of new ways of communication and interaction.
“Indigenous media matters because indigenous people do.”
(Wortham 2013: 218)
Indigenous media can be broadly defined as media and forms of media expression conceptualized and produced by indigenous people. From an anthropological perspective, indigenous media can be understood as cultural product and process that are both closely connected to the construction, expression and transmission of identity. Reflecting thus indigenous people’s history as well as contemporary sociocultural and political situations. By (strategically) inserting their own narratives in the dominant media landscape – may this be accomplished through films, TV and radio programs, or websites – indigenous people also utilize media technologies as means for social change and political transformation. Indigenous media-making practices have thus become part of the “ongoing struggles for Indigenous recognition and self-determination” and can therefore be understood as a form of cultural activism (e.g., Ginsburg 2000: 30).
University of Cologne, Germany
14-16 September 2017
This international workshop seeks to theorize the relationship between media and mobility. While mobility has been defined as movement ascribed with meaning, one might in similar fashion define media as meaning ascribed with movement. Interrogating the linkages between media and mobility can enable more thorough understandings of how various power structures produce, transform and reproduce social, material and discursive orders. People, devices, and data are increasingly on the move – movements that may transgress borders and boundaries, but which are also integral to the constitution and regulation of the barriers themselves. The movement of people triggers new imaginaries of territories and social spaces, which circulate through media, questioning and forging new ties between people, signs and things. More broadly, the mobilisation of tangible and intangible things demands a reconceptualization of what a ‘thing’ is, what constitutes the human, and what defines human collectivity. In such circumstances, reimagining circulations through the lens of media and mobility becomes an important step towards understanding current socio-cultural and political changes. While this lens has been applied broadly within anthropological research, its theoretical consequences merit further investigation and discussion.
An audiovisual platform designed to be used as a space of information, creation and public debate regarding education. (Ricardo Greene)
Esto es talca: http://estoestalca.cl/
A chrono-photographic online platform that seeks to produce and display a photographic survey of the city of Talca and its transformations over time. (Ricardo Greene)
Aston, J., Gaudenzi, S., & Rose, M. (Eds.). (2017). I-Docs: The evolving practices of interactive documentary. New York: Wallflower Press. Forthcoming.
Menzies, C. R. (2015). In our grandmothers’ garden: An indigenous approach to collaborative film. In A. Gubrium, A., K. Harper, & M. Ortanzez (Eds.), Participatory visual and digital research in action. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
Pink, S. (2011). Digital visual anthropology: Potentials and challenges. In M. Banks & J. Ruby (Eds.), Made to be seen: Perspectives on the history of visual anthropology. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.