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Message posted on 16/10/2020

An Invitation to Collaborate // Call for Papers RAI 2021: Disappearing World Reloaded: A proposition to collaborate on geopoetic films of the “terrestrial”. (( Panel P23 at conference RAI Film Festival 2021 )) .

To all those with ‘visual anthropology’ scratched into their identity & ‘ecologic connection’ etched inside their heart,

We reach out to you today with an invitation to share in a collective journey within the terrestrial...

Disappearing World Reloaded: A proposition to collaborate on geopoetic films of the “terrestrial”. https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/raiff2021/p/9509 Panel P23 at conference @ RAI Film Festival 2021 Conference : 25-28 March 2021 (Virtual Space) Submission Deadline for Proposals : 15 November 2020.

THE BACKGROUND / From the Heart :

In our brief journeys engaging with (Visual) Anthropology, we have been lucky enough to attend conferences, festivals and working groups, and time and time again we leave these sessions inspired by what all of what our colleagues are working on. But so too, we leave the “meeting place” with some other feelings on the inside. Sometimes it feels slightly uncomfortable, almost greedy, as if wanting “more”. It sometimes feels like we emerge from our cave (of allegories), share and connect together in a brief moment in time, and then we all return to our disparate realities & keep working… “My field site” / “your research” — life on repeat with personal pronouns that dissolve the “we”…

However, it feels as if there has been a trend within our discipline, impatiently anticipated and exponentially enacted, that accounts for the efforts of interdisciplinary research and contamination of practices. We too hear the call of connections. We too want to develop relationships, not only between researchers, but also between the research and the wider world. Evidently, within our contingent #NOW that has entered the social and political lexicon as a global pandemic, we grapple with a new mode of (anthro)synchronicity. Globalisation and all of those terms of yesterday, gestured to the asymmetrical dynamics of connectivity. However with the COVID-19 & SARS-COV-20 viruses and the experience of life in ‘lockdown’, we are offered an entry point into a new era of life on our damaged planet, and with it a new era of anthropology… and of most significance, an opportunity propels alternate modes of connecting.


Carbon cycles, multi species entanglements, the sixth great extinction… Whether we want to admit it or not, it is all connected, and life on earth is at threat. It’s concerning & it’s literally happening in front of our eyes. And for so many of us who have been engaging with research collaborators and participants, we are watching the ecologies of our damaged planet undergo transformations on an unprecedented scale. We feel the concern and efforts held by our colleagues. We CARE for the environment. We live with eco-grief. We KNOW this is an emergency! And yet, we find hope in acknowledging that through our own field work and experiences, we were able to see through the invisibilities of systems built on resource mismanagement and environmental exploitation. It is our research and practices in the discipline that offer such a unique perspective to this time of crisis.

For a discipline that defines itself on qualitative data & that called out the faults of the ‘Grand Narrative’ long ago, we are left with a predicament. Ethnographic insights are unique. And in a time where the ‘data’ of climate science has proven to be unsuccessful in shifting a mantra of sustainability, we feel that because “you are the expert of your own life” — ethnographies hold value in pivoting sustainable futures.

We believe there has never been a more important time to come together & work as a united force…


It’s not about re-inventing the wheel. But rather, we look to the past and try and learn from our mistakes, as a way of moving forward. And believe the significance lay at the heart of how do we connect these realities? ‘Disappearing Worlds’ was such a unique example in the discipline of positing the rich tapestry of the ethnosphere in global context. We want to return to this concept. To come together from our disparate fields, and attempt to develop a modality of research dissemination that moves b e y o n d here & there… It’s time to develop a mode that celebrates our diversity and differences & find the place where our work helps harness life for sustainable futures.

If this resonates with you… We invite you to join us.

We have a panel @ RAI2021 where we ask these questions and will create the space to meet. Share ideas. Discuss. Argue. & Collectively develop a ‘connected’ mode of geo_poetic storytelling… We are eager and passionate and committed to this journey. But we can’t do it alone. And we don’t want to.

We are inviting ALL. All the legends and influential practitioners who have brought “us” to this point, are invited to be mentors.

All researchers and practitioners trying to develop these threads of connection, are invited to do it together.

Let’s try it. The time is #NOW. Join us… for as my dear co-convenor often says, “be the geopoetics you want to see in the world”…

Disappearing World Reloaded: A proposition to collaborate on geopoetic films of the “terrestrial”

Short abstract: In this panel we explore the promise of geopoetics in the realm of visual anthropology and subsequently aim to instigate the formation of a new collaboration / creative collective. How do we create geopoetic films today?

Long abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic invigorated the “bordering regimes” present in Europe with a renewed intensity. What the momentum exposed in glaring light, was a vision of the world in which political borders are mobilised as “immune systems” (Roberto Esposito), that keep biologically and culturally “contagious bodies” at bay, and whereby the nation states gradually drift towards “new nationalism”, promising the protection of public health and the physical survival of the nation (Agamben). These politicised narratives of “movement”, the precarity of systemic collapse, and the concerns of these material threats to life, are the contextualising catalysts, to which we respond.

In this panel we explore the promise of geopoetics in the realm of visual anthropology and subsequently aim to instigate the formation of a new collaboration / creative collective. How do we create geopoetic films today?

Firstly, by aligning ourselves with the project of making the planet a truly meaningful scale, we subscribe to Latourian response to the outdated global/local modus and the nation state as the mediator between the two. Working consciously towards the “immediate realm” of the “terrestrial” (Latour - Back to Earth 2017). By doing so, we want to find routes and thematic connections between field sites on a global scale. We invite researchers and practitioners from all disciplines and diverse backgrounds, to prefigure the creative response to Global Crisis through “terrestrial vision-making”.

This panel is the invitation to collaborate and form creative collectives. We reflect on the significance of the Disappearing World series, and ask if terrestrial narratives of scale, and webs of ethnographically rooted connection were to be re-visited? We believe in the significance of interdisciplinary “contamination” of ideas and practice and we want to treat this panel as the meeting place. With both research findings and aspirations, within the panel we wish to explore and wrestle with the symbiotic entanglements of the terrestrial: life and life as an extension of non-life. How do we make films of the terrestrial? And how do we do it together?

We invite you to join us in vision making.

Proposals to be made here : https://nomadit.co.uk/conference/raiff2021/p/9509 Gratitude on sharing such an invitation with your networks…

Take CARE of yourselves & this world around you… & we await you @ the “meeting place” …


Blake & Pavel. x

Blake Paul Kendall +49) 0151 2902 3216 blakekendall@hotmail.com Sydney / Sarawak & Berlin www.lifeinabrokensystem.com

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