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Camera, Intervention and Cultural Critique: An Introduction

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The key questions of the research project Camera as Cultural Critique, in which all contributors to this section of the issue participated, are outlined here. The overall purpose of the project was to explore how the use of audiovisual media in ethnographic research may contribute to sustained cultural critique. Grounding that critique in a certain understanding of the temporality of the present—as always in a state of emergence and involving images of past and future—the researchers explore the potential of audiovisual media for the critical (re)imagining of pasts and futures, in creative collaborations with their interlocutors. To create platforms for such collaboration different interventionist methods are used, including video feedback, the use of film archives in provocative museum installations, and the use of photo archives in intercultural dialogue and collaborative re-enactment. Another focus of attention is the particular affordances of the camera as technology. Here we explore the resistance that the camera, as a mechanical eye, exerts on the filmmakers’ intentions, thus prompting reflection on ways of seeing. The camera can also act as a mediator between people and their different ways of perceiving. Finally, we see the camera as a context-triggering device that can unsettle deep-seated cultural ways of seeing and understanding. In short, we conclude that audiovisual media have great potential for a cultural-critical and collaborative research practice.

TidsskriftVisual Anthropology
Sider (fra-til)307-317
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 20 okt. 2018

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