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Message posted on 05/06/2019

Crafting the Future of the Visual Essay University of Antwerp

Dear colleagues,

would you mind circulating the call for the forthcoming VANEASA workshop
on the Future of the Visual Essay that will be held in Antwerp on the
13th of September 2019?

We are looking for proposals from creative early career scholars. Below
and in attachment  you can find the full text.


Paolo Favero

Invitation to a VANEASA Workshop on:

*Crafting the Future of the Visual Essay*


Location: University of Antwerp

Date: 13 September 2019

*_The Scenario_*

In the early 1990s WJT Mitchell wrote that “new images”, i.e. the images
that were emerging in relation to the growing developments of digital
technologies, were made to “yield new forms of understanding […] to
disturb and disorientate by blurring comfortable boundaries and
encouraging transgression of rules on which we have come to rely” 
(Mitchell 1992 : p. 223).

A few decades down the line, Mitchell’s vision seems now to have
materialised. In the contemporary digitised habitats of the world,
images have in fact acquired a new meaning. Rather than ‘illustrating,’
‘reflecting,’ or ‘capturing’ the world out there they seem to be
increasingly engaged in an act of ‘shaping’ and ‘crafting’ it. From
Facebook to Instagram, from 3D printing to virtual- mixed- and augmented
reality images today do seem to concur at the very creation of new
relations, of social and material engagements.

In response to these shifts researchers and lay people alike have become
more aware and critical about the world of images. Acknowledging their
dynamic, multimodal and multi-sensory character we have today overcome
simplistic notions of the image as a “transparent window on the world”
(Mitchell 1984, p. 504) and are slowly living up to Howard Becker’ s
(1986) invitation to stop looking for an ultimate truth in images.

Yet, *what are the consequences of this shift *for the multiple ways in
which we, as visual anthropologists, can *use images as tools for
communicating research results*?

*_The Workshop_*

The present one-day workshop aims to offer a space of reflection upon
the possible ways in which visual anthropologists (and visual scholars
at large) can today exploit the possibilities offered by new (mainly
digital) technologies for *moving beyond established linear, flat,
text-driven forms of visual narration*.

Focusing on the *visual essay* as a form that has been central to the
communication of social scientific research we ask:

•To what extent are *new technologies* (wearable cameras, geo-locative
and immersive media, online platforms and smartphone applications, etc.)
making us *re-conceptualise* the act and idea of *publishing* in
contemporary visual anthropology?

•What *new relations between images, image-makers and
viewers/users/sensers* can we imagine today?

•To what extent can such changes be incorporated in our ongoing efforts
for *strengthening the value and centrality of visual work in academic

*_The Participants_*

We seek for creative contributions from *early career scholars* that can
help us identify new ways of thinking about and making visual essays.

Such essays can be developed in the shape of videoclips, online
archives, smartphone applications, virtual, mixed and augmented reality,

The essay needs to be able to show the extent to which the selected form
interacts with the ethnographic content that makes up the core of the essay.

The selected contributions will receive *feedback* from senior scholars
in the area. During the workshop these essays will be the centre of

The *best proposals will be published in a special issue of
AnthroVision*, the visual anthropology journal of the European
Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) that will be edited by
Paolo SH Favero (ViDi/UAntwerp) and Janine Prins (University of Leiden).

We aim to offer a small travel support to the selected participants.

*_How to apply_*

*15^th  of June*: *Deadline* for sending in a proposal. This proposal
should contain a first draft of the visual essay and a one-page
reflection upon the dialogue between form and content. Send these two
documents to:paolo.favero@uantwerpen.be
 and janineprins@xs4all.nl

*30^th  of June*: *Decision* of which proposals will be accepted will be

*15^th  of August*: The authors of the selected proposals should send in
a second more elaborate draft of the visual essay including a
substantial reflection upon the dialogue between form and content.

The workshop is organized in collaboration with Visual and Digital
Cultures Research Center (*ViDi*) and the *Dept. of Communication
Studies*, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp


Paolo Silvio Harald Favéro

Associate Professor in Film Studies and Visual Culture

University of Antwerp



Paolo Silvio Harald Favéro

Associate Professor in Film Studies and Visual Culture

Visual and Digital Cultures Research Center (ViDi)

Dept. of Communication Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Antwerp

Room 475

Sint-Jacobstraat 2

BE-2000 Antwerp

phone: +32(0)32655356


Chair of MA in Film Studies and Visual Culture, Univ. of Antwerp

Co-convenor of the Visual Anthropology Network of the European
Association of Social Anthropologists (VANEASA)

Vice-Chair of ECREA TWG on Visual Culture


New Books OUT!

The Present Image> Visible Stories in a Digital Habitat / Palgrave Macmillan


Dentro ed Oltre l’Immagine - Meltemi


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