The Comité du Film Ethnographique Seminar 25, 26 & 27 March 2006 From ethnological films to visual anthropology, A reappraisal: New technology, new fields of investigation, new languages Salle de Cinéma Jean Rouch, Musée de l’Homme, Paris The year 2006 will mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Bilan du Film Ethnographique, which the committee organizes annually. For this occasion, we are proposing an international seminar for taking stock of the different orientations that have led from ethnological documentaries to the contemporary experiments of audiovisual anthropology with digital equipment. Following the usual week of projections during the Bilan, this three-day meeting will focus on the following themes: 1- The pathways from the ethnological documentary to audiovisual anthropology. 2- The reappraisal of concepts and themes: from eye-witnesss (the objectivistic temptation) to the diversity of the “logics of knowledge” (the paradoxes of relativism). 3- The anthropological situation: meetings, dialogues, transactions, negotiations and the diversity of experiences and languages. 4- The question of the languages of our trade and of their contemporary uses runs throughout all themes in the seminar; it will be a major axis during our discussions. Please find enclosed a call for papers and an application form. We would appreciate if you would circulate these texts in your institution and to persons whom you think would be interested by our meeting. Your suggestions for this seminar or for a paper to be presented during it should reach the Comité du Film Ethnographique by 1 October 2005 at the following address: email@example.com Sincerely, The organizers Françoise Foucault, Laurent Pellé, Marc H. Piault, Nadine Wanono The Comité du Film Ethnographique is organizing from 25 to 27 March 2006 a seminar: From ethnological films to visual anthropology, a reappraisal: New technology, new fields of investigation, new languages Call for papers The language of cinema in anthropology has enabled us to explore fields that, for a long time, were peripheral to — or even laid outside — the realm of research (the space/time relation; duration; emotions; the relativity of behaviors and values; comparative treatments of the body; cultural expressions of personhood; performances of speech and the ongoing construction of reality,etc..). Filmmaking has become an inescapable means for conceiving of both the relativity of cultures and the essential reciprocity of viewpoints. As a way to explore and learn about different patterns of behavior and as the very expression of knowledge to be shared and compared, audiovisual anthropology, which slowly emerged during the second half of the 20th century, is being ever more widely used in research and experimentation. The Bilan du Film Ethnographique has contributed to this exploration; it has been a reflection and essential vector of these developments. We will be celebrating the 25th Bilan in March 2006. Nowadays more than ever, new questions are arising about: the uses of the tools of our trade; the nature of the fields being investigated; the need to work out a specific language, body of knowledge and means of communication. Following this 25th Bilan, a three-day seminar will be held from 25 to 27 March 2006 to discuss these themes and the current prospects of anthropology. This seminar will start by briefly recalling a few of the major orientations that have had an impact on how we think about and make documentary films and by pointing out a few landmarks in the passage from ethnological documentaries to audiovisual anthropology. The first documents of “colonial cinema” will be mentioned, as well as the films coming out of “scientific” observation, cinema vérité, and “live” or “light” cinema — of what has led to ethnological filmmaking, meetings, comparative points of view, the sharing of situations and what we now call audiovisual anthropology. A second focus of this seminar will be the renewed relations between societies and cultures as well as the questioning of definitions of personhood, of group and individual identities and of ways of “belonging”. These crucial questions fit in a context of a generalized circulation of models. Anthropology has played a major part in asking legitimate questions about the objectivity of reality. It has contributed to a literal “denaturalization of dominant modes of thought”. The sharing of points of view — though initially unequal —heralded questions not just about the hierarchy and paradigms of values in all fields. It also undoubtedly raised deeper, more difficult questions about the universality of values. The paradox of our times crops up out of the possible simultaneity of communication and information which the advocates of a “massifying” globalization have taken into account, with the revelation, owing to this instantaneous visibility, of the extreme diversity of rationales for apprehending and understanding the world. The third focus of this seminar will be to explain how “conceivable reality” is necessarily the product of possible transactions, necessary negotiations and “conversations” between what we are alternatively or even simultaneously. Syncretism and the recognition of internal contradictions authorize and legitimate a switch to the “constituted-constituting image” of meetings, conversations and dialogic relations. This construction but also reception, diffusion, and understanding of the audiovisual language are part of a single approach, of a single principle for establishing “situations” wherein distinction and “belonging” are maintained as a permanent problematic requirement. This way of imparting a dynamics to our seminar is necessarily based on a transformation of the “experience of representation” and its instruments. A fourth preoccupation of this seminar will be, given the transformed tools of our trade, to inquire into the forms of expression of these meetings, which are also experiments in communication and the communicability of knowledge, adjusted as they are to various “cultural logics”. The passage from analog to digital techniques, modifications in space-time relations owing to the use of networks of communication such as the Web, questions about the “transitivity of reality” and “imaginary construction”, the consequences of “virtualization” or, even more, the possible forms of abstraction via images and sounds… all this calls for evaluating a language, which is constantly in gestation, by borrowing from discourses that, though different, are confronted with a necessary but urgent (in)determination, which postulates the refusal of a unique discourse, of universal commensurability. We are calling for papers from anthropologists (in research and/or teaching positions), student researchers, the makers and producers of documentary films, and the heads of programming departments. They are requested to send us their proposals for papers — a working title along with an abstract of up to 100 words — by 1 October 2005. Spoken interventions will be limited to twenty minutes. Since the written version of the paper will be given in advance to participants, the twenty-minute period should be devoted to a demonstration through images. The definitive version of the paper should reach us by 1 February 2006 at the latest. Proposals for papers should be sent or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail: Comité du Film Ethnographique Musée de l’Homme Place du Trocadéro 75116 Paris From ethnological films to visual anthropology: a reappraisal New technology, new fields of investigation, new languages 25, 26 & 27 March 2006 Enrollment in the seminar Enrollment fees open access to all activities during the seminar. Participants will receive the papers submitted and may attend, at no costs, projections during the 25th Bilan du Film Ethnographique from 19 to 24 March 2006. Fees Normal participation (institution, film-makers and producers, researchers and Till 30 September 2005 After 1 October 2005 100 ι 130 ι members of teaching staffs) Members of the Comité du Film Ethnographique 80 ι 100 ι Student participants 30 ι 50 These fees cover coffee breaks, lunches and cocktails during the three-day seminar; they do not cover accommodation in Paris, for which participants have to make reservations themselves. The enrollment form along with payment should be sent to: Comité du Film Ethnographique Inscriptions colloque Nadine Wanono 17 place du Trocadéro – 75116 Paris – France A l’attention de Nadine Wanono or email@example.com Payment by check,money order should be made in euros to the: Colloque Comité du film ethnographique. Please avoid other forms of payment. Enrollment form Name (Last — First): Address: Postal code: City: Country: Telephone: E-mail: Organization / association: Working title of the proposed paper: Abstract of the proposed paper (100 words): Fees Normal participation (institution, filmmakers and Till 30 September 2005 After 1 October 2005 100 ι 130 ι producers, researchers and members of teaching staffs) Members of the Comité du Film Ethnographique 80 ι 100 ι Student participants 30 ι 50 These fees cover coffee breaks, lunches and cocktails during the three-day seminar; they do not cover accommodation in Paris, for which participants have to make reservations themselves. Payment by check or money order should be made in euros to the: Colloque Comité du film ethnographique. Please avoid other forms of payment.