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Panels and Workshops

Running in parallel with the Prize Screenings, and alternating with Special Interest Screenings in the third strand, there will two other types of session: Panels and Workshops.

Both these types of session will be forums for discussion and debate rather than for film screenings, though film extracts may be shown as appropriate. The difference between the two is that whereas the Panels will involve the relatively formal verbal presentation of papers, which may be later collected together and published, the Workshops will provide a more informal context for the exchange of ideas and information about current practices.


Those who are interested in presenting papers at one of these panels should send proposals directly to the co-ordinators.

Visual Anthropology in Latin America

Co-ordinators: Carlos Y. Flores (Departamento de Antropología, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, México) & Alejandra Navarro Smith (Centro de Investigaciones Culturales-Museo, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, México)

Time: 2-6pm, Wednesday, 27 June
Place: Stephen Joseph Room, first floor, Martin Harris Building

This panel will consider the state of the art of visual anthropology in Latin America. It will include presentations on a range of different anthropological video and visual anthropology projects in Latin America, examining the nature and aims of these projects, the different contexts (political, cultural, logistical, financial, etc.) in which they are being developed, and the methodological and ethical challenges that they present in contemporary Latin America. Presentations can include short video-clips, but should be of no more than 20 minutes in duration in order to allow for 10 minutes of discussion time.

Download a detailed outline of the panel

The panel will be a unique opportunity to exchange experiences of professional development in Latin America. Beyond the conference itself, the aim will be to consolidate a network of visual anthropologists working in the region.

The panel has been scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, 27 June, before the formal opening of the Festival. However in order to participate in the panel, delegates must be registered for at least one day of the Festival. For details about fees and how to register, please see the REGISTRATION page.

Contact: Carlos Flores and/or Alejandra Navarro Smith

Visualizing Childhood: methodological approaches and challenges

Co-ordinators: Cecilie Øien and Rachel Webster (University of Manchester)

Time: 10am - 2pm, Friday, 29 June
Place: Stephen Joseph Room, first floor, Martin Harris Building

After years of neglect, there is now a substantial interest in children's life-worlds and childhood within the social sciences, as well as in documentary film. This panel will be aimed at exploring how ethnographic filmmakers engage with children and how they methodologically go about making films centred around children and childhood. How does one initiate a film project on and with children? In what ways are working with children different from or similar to working with adults? How does one collaborate with children and what are the particular challenges involved in doing so? Are children to be treated differently? And should we give them the authority to take the lead in film making ventures? Are there specific ethical issues related to working with children, and if so, is it possible to generalise about these? These are just a few of the questions that this panel will explore.

A number of invited speakers, including the leading ethnographic film-maker David MacDougall, will make presentations that address these issues, supported where appropriate by extracts from their films. However the aim of these presentations will be to provoke more general discussions to which all those attending the panel will be encouraged to contribute.

This panel will be co-ordinated by:

  • Cecilie Øien has recently submitted her doctoral thesis at the University of Manchester, entitled: "Pathways of Migration: Perceptions of Home and Belonging Among Angolan Women in Portugal". She is currently involved in the project "Informal Child Migration in Europe", a three-year project with eight researchers funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The project is based at the Departement of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. The work title of her current research is "The transnational networks of care of Angolan children in Portugal". As part of her project, Cecilie will also make an ethnographic documentary.
  • Rachel Webster who made Ravi & Bhajay, a film about street children in Mumbai was awarded the JVC Student Film Prize in 2003. She has recently begun a PhD at Manchester and will be studying changing perceptions of childhood, space and Islam amongst the nomadic Bakkarwal of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The panel will be constructed around presentations by a series of guest speakers, supported as appropriate by clips from their own or others' film work. These will be aimed at provoking a more general discussion about the actual or potential relationships between the anthropology of childhood and ethnographic film-making, with particular emphasis on the ways in which child-centred methodologies can be enriched by a solid theoretical framework. The guest speakers will include:

  • David MacDougall who has many years' experience of filming with children in India, both in his Doon School Project and more recently, in his work with street children in New Delhi.
  • Rossella Ragazzi whose work, first in Paris and later in Dublin, has examined the world of child immigrants and the cross-cultural dilemmas they encounter on entering the formal education system of their host countries
  • Catarina Mourão will show extracts from her film On Edge, which is about children in a Lisbon suburb. She will discuss how her relationship with the children who are subjects of the film changed during the process of film-making and how she chose to portray this in the film.
  • Gillian Evans' presentation will adopt a more theoretical perspective, asking to what extent it is possible to capture on camera the reality of childhood and the individual's own experiences of what it is to be a child, without an understanding of the complexity of the social processes through which children's relations with each other are structured?
  • Alicia Blum-Ross is a doctoral candidate in anthropology at the University of Oxford and Education Co-ordinator at the London Film Festival. Drawing on examples of short films created by and for youth and school groups in London, her presentation will discuss how young people articulate social and political identities through the process of film-making.
  • Jennifer Wolowic is a Masters student at the University of British Columbia presenting her undergraduate film thesis made in collaboration with an inner city school in San Francisco. She will discuss the film as a record of the negotiated relationship between filmmaker and youth shaped by input from the community and the playful experience of childhood.

We hope that this will be an innovative and stimulating session which, through the examination and discussion of the speakers' own practical, visual research work, will contribute towards an enriched understanding of the fascinating outcomes of doing visual ethnography with children.


Revisiting and recontextualizing archival films

Co-ordinator: Susanne Hammacher (Royal Anthropological Institute)

Time: 10am - 2pm, Wednesday, 27 June
Place: Stephen Joseph Room, first floor, Martin Harris Building

In view of the considerable number of films submitted to the Festival that incorporate archival film or photography, this workshop will compare and contrast the various ways in which archival materials can or should be deployed in the creation of new films. Archival records have legacies and lives of their own, and the meaning and ownership of ethnographic films may well change in a way unanticipated by the creator at the time the material was recorded. These topics will be addressed by a series of keynote speakers, who will contextualize the screening of their films in the course of the Festival.

Within the workshop itself, there will be the screening of extracts from the following films: Ainu - Past and Present. The Legacy of Neil Gordon Munro's Film and How Little We Know of Our Neighbours. The makers of the first film, accompanied by an Ainu representative will be attending the workshop.

Others film being screened in the Festival that involve the extensive use of archive material include Papa Bilong Chimbu, The Devil's Mills, Hinterrhein, 37 Uses for a Dead Sheep, Oss Tales and Tales from the Jungle: Malinowski and the Trobriand Islanders.

Contact: Susanne Hammacher


From the Making of an Englishman to the Last King of Scotland

Kevin MacDonald In Conversation

Opening Night - Wed 27 June

Castaways Projects

On Sunday 1st of July, the author Caryl Phillips will do a reading and take part in a lunchtime discussion with anthropologist Steven Feld and the artist Virginia Ryan, about their exhibition 'Castaways' which is being staged at the Whitworth art gallery. Read more

Beyond Text Conference

Conference Programme and Timetable Now Online! Visit the conference page for details!

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from:
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Keo Films
Manchester University Press
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