Symposium 2010

Future Past: Cultural Heritage and Collaborative Ethnographic Film Work

Cultural heritage, collaborative ethnographic work, and ethnographic film work are discussed theoretically and methodologically again and again. However, this happens mainly separately from each other. In the context of intangible cultural heritage its documentation with film is of particular value. Nowadays, archival film material is sought after by the members of the respective cultures. New material is created by many people, amongst others by anthropologists and people of the respective cultures themselves. Having these diverse sources of material at hand the question of validity immediately arises. Which contribution can anthropology make? How important is the collaboration with local representatives, how does it work, and with which results? Which contribution can “indigenous filmmaking” offer in this context? And, who decides whether or not an event, an expression, or a performance is an element of the cultural heritage?
Different examples of collaborative ethnographic film work from various parts of the world will be examined in the context of the contemporary culture heritage discourse. The aim is to achieve a deeper insight into the processes of creating cultural heritage, in using film, and in thus documenting intangible cultural heritage.
The symposium is funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (Volkswagen Stiftung) and the Wenner Gren Foundation. It is organised by the University of Göttingen and the Förderinitiative Visuelle Ethnographie e.V. (FIVE). Intervention Press will publish the papers of the conference.
The symposium is organised by Prof. Dr.Regina Bendix (University of Gööttingen), Prof. Dr. Peter Crawford (Intervention Press), and Dr. Rolf Husmann and Dr. Beate Engelbrecht (both University of Göttingen>, Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival GIEFF and FIVE).

Preliminary programme:

Saturday May 15 to Tuesday May 18, 2010


afternoon (13.30-17.00)
(selected films of the Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival on cultural heritage) see festival programme


film screenings

16.05.10 morning (09.30-12.30)
(work in progress, film excerpts from the projects to be discussed)

film screenings

  Giovanni Kezich / Antonella
One day in Palù del Fersina (Italy)
  Mott / Michele Trentini
Claudia Marchesoni, Bersntoler Kulturinstitut)
  Phurba Tshering Bhutia
Ongdala: The Initiation of a Young Monk (Sikkim)
  Jakhadtè Somchai Jayò
Images Returning Home - One (Thailand)
  Mouadjamou Ahmadou
Nomads Under Pressure (Cameroon)

José Jiménez
Acteal. 10 Years of Impunity and How Many More? (Mexico)

16.05.10 afternoon (14:00-19.00)

Key note lecture


Sharon Sherman
Collaborative Ethnographic Films and the Negotiation of Cultural Identities


An Indian View on Ethnographic Film Work

  Anjali Monteiro / K.P. Jayasankar
In-visible, In-camera : Notes on the Elusive Reflexive in Filming Cultural Practices

Mexico: Collaboration Between Indigenous Organisations and Committed Anthropologists

  José Alfredo Jiménez and Axel Köhler
Beyond Cultural Heritage and Ethnographic Film: Issues in Collaboration Between Indigenous Organisations and Committed Visual Anthropologists

Brazil: Collaborative Filmmaking

  David Hernández Palmar
Collaborative Ethnographic Film Work
17.05.10 morning (09.00-12.30)

Europe: Carnival King of Europe

  Giovanni Kezich
Carnival King of Europe. A Research Project about Carnivals and Winter Fertility Rituals Across Different Areas of Europe

Belgium: The Carnival of Binche

  Markus Tauschek
Filming Heritage - Producing Value. Ethnographic Perspectives on the Constitution of ICH

Reef Islands: Cultural Heritage and Collaborative Ethnographic Film Work

  Peter I. Crawford / Nathaniel Menigi
The Reef Islands Ethnographic Film Project
17.05.10 afternoon (14:00-1900)

Indonesia: Visual Anthropology in Indonesia

  Tanete Pong Masak
Toraja Cultural Heritage Through Visual Anthropology
  Beate Engelbrecht
Cultural Practices, Copyright, and Ethics. Experiences From Co-operative Film Work in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia
  Aryo Danusiri
The God, The Bad and The Gift: Participatory Approach and Media

Thailand: Images Returning Home

  Carina zur Strassen
Friends and Partners in Ethnography. The Self-governed Terms of an Intercultural Cooperation
  Rolf Husmann
IRaVE - Image Return and Visual Empowerment. A Concept and Its Practical Application in Thailand

Sikkim: Documenting Culture with Film

  Anna Balikci- Denjongpa / Phurba Tshering Bhutia
Anthropologist, Indigenous Filmmaker and the Local Community
18.05.10 morning (09.30-12.30)

Ethiopia: South Omo Research Center

  Ivo Strecker
Evocations of Time, Place and People. Film and the Preservation of Cultural Heritage

  Felix Girke
Heritage Behaviour': Thoughts on Collaboration in Film-making

Ethiopia: Mursi – Cultural Heritage in Focus

  Ben Young / Olisarali Olibui
“Film the Tourists not the Lip Plates”, Collaborative Filming on ‘Shooting With Mursi’
18.05.10 afternoon (14:00-17:00)

Cameroon: Developing a Visual Anthropology Network in Ngaoundere/Maroua

  Lisbet Holtedahl / Amadou Adamou
Collaborative Efforts in Anthropological Research and Film Making: Challenges and Benefits
  Mouadjamou Ahmadou
Visual Anthropology as a Means of Targeting a Wide Audience for Cultural Education in Cameroon

Final Discussion