Epistemic Disobedience | Call for Articles at AnthroVision
Dear Colleagues, Dr. Judith Albrecht (Freie Universität Berlin) and Dr. Florian Walter (Freie Universität Berlin) invite submissions for a Special Issue of the AnthroVision journal entitled “Epistemic Disobedience: Transcultural and Collaborative Filmmaking as a Decolonial Option”. The deadline for the proposal submission (short abstract and media-link) is: February 1st The deadline for the whole article is: June 1st The article will be peer-reviewed and published at the end of the year 2018. The call is attached as a pdf document and listed under this email-text. We are looking forward to your contributions, All the best, Judith Albrecht and Florian Walter
Call: Epistemic Disobedience | Transcultural and Collaborative Filmmaking as a Decolonial Option
With this call for special issue of the AnthroVision journal we invite visual and media anthropologists to submit an (audio)visual media and a text-based paper. The written part of the article should reflect on their decolonial and transcultural filming practice. The (audio)visual representation can be based on photos, a film, an installation or a web project and should be the central starting point for the text-based analysis that reflects the applied (collaborative) methodology on a more theoretical level. Especially the submitted (audio)visual media should make extensive use of its mimetic qualities through for example experimental modes of representations. As MacDougall reminds us: “Images and written texts not only tell us things differently, they tell us different things” (MacDougall 1988: 257). With the submission of the article the authors commit to participate in a one week-lasting online discussion on a blog that will be moderated by the editors of the volume.
In their writings, Enrique Dussel (1995) and Anibal Quijano (1992) prove
that European modernism is not to be localised in the Enlightenment but in
the colonial era and that modernism as a philosophical school of thought
served as a legitimization for the colonial project. Therefore,
postcolonial critique postulates that coloniality is more than a
historical event, it is an ideology which still has an effect in knowledge
production (academic, medial) and in the reception of content and images,
as Edward Said already established in the 1970s in his book Orientalism.
Despite this postcolonial and postcultural critique, the dominant
discourse on cultural identity remains often a holistic and essentialist
one and is to a large extant visually loaded. Especially visuality is an
expression and production-site of these discourses. Thus, there is a
historical continuity from colonial maps to fiction and documentary films.
In this sense, we argue that these representations are not innocent, but
highly politicized in producing the Other.
In an increasingly globalised world marked by mobility and modern media
these interconnections and the positions of the “we” and the “others” are
challenged and must be critically analysed and reconstituted.
The formulation of identities and belonging represents an ongoing
communicative process in which constantly changing borderlines and
openings must be negotiated and the cultural repertoire changed and
differentiated. As Stuart Hall points out “Cultural identity [...] is a
matter of ´becoming
as well as of ´being. It belongs to the future as
much to the past. It is not something which already exists, transcending
place, time, history, and culture. Cultural identities come from
somewhere, have histories.” (Hall 1990: 225) He proposes seeing identity
as a ‘production`, which is never complete, always in process and always
constituted within, not outside, representation.
In his pioneering work David MacDougall (1990) defines transcultural
cinema as an audiovisual mode of anthropological representation, that
crosses and defies these cultural borders.
It is our hypothesis, that collaborative and self-reflexive filmmaking are
the key-methods to trigger transcultural processes of understandings, as
in the production-process the representation of cultural identities is
negotiated on- and off-screen (see Walter 2012). We think that film
embodies an experience, that goes beyond cultural concepts and features
aspects of subjectivity. Film is not only a universal language, but a
“direct experience of experience” (Sobchack 1990) and triggers
pre-semantic processes of understanding before the words kick in. In
visual anthropology there is a long history of discussing how to show the
invisible (e.g. affective knowledge) and about the mimetic qualities of
the media film. According to MacDougall, words are superior in their
capacity “of showing us the rules of the social and cultural institutions
by which [people] live” (MacDougall 1998: 259), but images are far
superior in addressing subtle issues of social agency, body practice, and
the role of the senses and emotions in social life.
This special issue thus deals with the practices of transcultural and
collaborative filmmaking. We are seeking for works that are epistemic
disobedient (Mignolo 2010) and reflect on these above-mentioned processes
methodologically. It is our conviction, that full collaboration and
transcultural filmmaking are challenging and even impossible, but
indispensable as a utopian ideal that one could or should strive toward as
a methodological orientation with the aim of evoking real interpersonal
encounters and providing decolonial options in and outside of the academic
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List of References Dussel, Enrique. 1995. The Invention of the Americas: Eclipse of "the Other" and the Myth of Modernity. New York: Continuum. Hall, Stuart. 1990. Cultural Identity and Diaspora. In: Identity: Community, Culture and Differences. J. Rutherford, ed. Pp. 222–237. London: Lawrence & Wishart. MacDougall, David. 1998. Transcultural Cinema. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Mignolo, Walter. 2010. Epistemic disobedience. Rhetoric of modernity, logic of coloniality and decolonial grammar. Buenos Aires: Ediciones Del Signo. Quijano, Anibal and Immanuel Wallerstein. 1992. Americanity as a concept, or the Americas in the modern world system. International Social Science Journal, No. 134, Nov., 1992, 549-557. Sobchack, Vivian. 1992. The Address of the Eye: A Phenomenology of Film Experience. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Walter, Florian. 2012. Medios de comunicación en hermanamiento transcultural. Más allá de la herencia cultural y de la antropología colaborativa. In Espacios mediáticos: cultura y representación en México. Ingrid Kummels, ed. Pp. 347-377. Berlin: Verlag Walter Frey.
Dr. Florian Walter Wiss. Mitarbeiter Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie Freie Universität Berlin Raum 105 Landoltweg 9-11 14195 Berlin
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