Events calendar

RAI Film Online Roundtable: Merging horizons
Thursday 25 April 2024, 04:00pm - 06:00pm
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Film Roundtable


Thursday 25 April 2024, 4-6pm BST

To join us via Zoom, register here 

Michael Yorke typing up his fieldwork notes in 1973. The location is the village of Dubil, Singhbhum District of what is now the Jharkhand State of India.

Merging horizons:
visual anthropology, indigenous communities
and the work of online media archives

Aparna Sharma (UCLA)

Michael York (filmmaker and anthropologist),
Hercules Singh Munda (Edinburgh)
and Arpit Gaind (UCLA)


This roundtable considers strategies for how visual anthropologists and indigenous communities can work together to develop sustainable community media archives.

Historically, indigenous communities have had limited to no access to the text, photographs, films and videos about themselves, which have been produced by visual anthropologists. However, the emergence of online archiving has the potential to offer at least some redress this problem.

In this seminar we will introduce and discuss the co-production of a recent website:  Based on fifty years of fieldwork materials by anthropologist and filmmaker, Michael Yorke, among the Raj Gond and Ho Adivasi people in India, the indigenous linguist, Hercules Singh Munda, designed and built the website as a platform for making this work accessible for these communities.

While the internet offers wide potential for enhancing access to anthropological film and video, both contemporary and historical, there remain questions of ethical practice pertaining to the ownership and authorship of knowledge, funding and the promotion of sustainable archives built on principles of fair use. What forms of dialogue and collaboration can visual anthropologists undertake to make the media they produce or promote accessible to the communities they are about?



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