Interwar Travelogues

Interwar Travelogues: Historical Footage and Visual Anthropology

09:00, Friday 03rd July, Theatre C

The workshop will focus on interwar travelogues and the way they disseminated, negotiated, and connoted issues of race, exoticism, gender, and identity. The workshop will also address particular visual tropes and how these call for new methods of anthropological research. Questions of cultural equivocation, performance, ethic representation, advertorial schemes, and authentic visual ethnographic records will be analysed and supported by a selection of film clips. The workshop will include films made in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, which have been rarely, if ever, seen before. The Centre of South Asian Studies (UniversityCambridge), the British Film Institute, and the British Empire & CommonwealthMuseum will provide the historical footage.

The workshop will consist of screenings - rare films and commercial programmes using historical footage; short presentations given by invited speakers; and an extended feedback/dialogue session in which the audience will conduct a critical discussion of new methodologies, and practical and theoretical issues raised by the research corpus. The purpose of the workshop is twofold. First, it aims to encourage and enable novel understandings and usage of interwar travelogues as historical footage. Second, it intends to acknowledge and promote less-known archival film collections of anthropologic merit. Overall, the workshop is indented as a meeting place between emerging practices in visual anthropology and the research of historical films.


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About this Festival

Sponsored by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival was held from Wednesday July 1st to Saturday July 4th 2009, and included over 50 hours of screenings of new films, a major international conference, and a targeted selection of events focusing on anthropological ethics in filmmaking, youth participatory film, and archiving ethnographic film.

Read more about the RAI 2009 festival

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from: