Title: Participating camera and embodied filmmaking: shooting (in) the fieldwork
Speaker(s): Athena Peglidou, Adjunct Professor, Ionian University
Date & Time: 22/05/2016 15:00-18:00
Location: Municipal Theatre
Video, photography and sound-recorder have become increasingly incorporated into the work of ethnographers as cultural texts, as representations of ethnographic knowledge, as sites of cultural production, social interaction and individual experience. While photographic and film theory can inform our understanding of the potential of visual media in ethnographic research and representation, an ethnographic approach can also support the production and interpretation of visual images. The production of multimedia ethnographic projects either in ethnography or in visual studies and arts now forms a widespread practice, polyphonic, easily accessible and of low budget. As the “participant-observation” has been the paradigmatic method of data collection implying the personal involvement of the researcher with subjects in their social and cultural context over an extensive period of time, “the participant-filmmaking” could be for ethnographer/filmmaker his own wishful thinking of filming during fieldwork. Light and handful cameras are only the beginning as it is the body of filmmaker that must have the readiness, the alertness and the flexibility to get the camera closer either symbolically or practically to the social action and to its agents. The seminar aims to introduce to the technique of the filmic gym that has been elaborated by a member group of the mime artist, Marcel Marceau on demand of Jean Rouch and Michel Brault as a way of preparing the filmmaker to use effectively his body as a vigilant supplement of the camera. A basic filmic grammar and a range of moral and ethical issues to consider during the filmmaking will be discussed.
(Participants are requested to wear comfortable clothes - gym outfits and athletic shoes - and to take a gym mat)
Athena Peglidou, social anthropologist and filmmaker, is currently adjunct member of the teaching stuff of the Department of Audio and Visual Arts at the Ionian University in Corfu. She holds a D.E.A. in Social Anthropology (E.Η.Ε.S.S., Paris), a D.E.A. in Anthropological Cinema and Documentary (Paris X-Nanterre) and a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology (E.H.E.S.S., Paris). Her academic interests focus on the use of visual technologies in ethnographic fieldwork and on the interrelation of psychic suffering, politics and global/local medical culture. Her ethnographic research initially involved topics as the social poetics of normality and gender through cases of cleaning compulsion and depression among Greek women, the symbolic aspects of psychotropic drugs and therapeutic pluralism in mental illness. Later, she has worked in Greek-Albanian borders exploring mobility and locality on the borderline. Her more recent postdoctoral research has concerned gift and money-giving practices as aspects of Greek medical moral economy and social disparities in psychosis and its relationship with social suffering and personhood. She is currently working on the production of depression as “national disease” in the light of the ongoing economic crisis.