Berlin, Germany

Visual Ethnography as Activist Work

when 18 July 2022 - 22 July 2022
language English
duration 1 week
fee EUR 500

Would you like to learn more about filmmaking, photography, ethnography, activism, and their intersections? Then this workshop is for you! We will provide you with the theoretical framework and practical skillset to produce visual ethnography. Together with a small group of other students and activists, you will create an ethnographic short film or photography project of your choice.

How do we ethically represent the Lives of Others in visual media? How do we express their subjectivities, the (material) cultures they are entangled in, the concerns they are facing daily and the social relations that shape their places in the world?

Questions like these build the practice of visual ethnography, both as a research method and an artistic expression. Ethnography as a method is occupied with gaining an in-depth understanding of people and things we encounter through their relations to each other and their surroundings. Engaging with the visible and non-visible aspects of these relations, making them accessible with the help of visual media, while reflecting on the ethical responsibilities involved in this process, constitutes the practice of visual ethnography.

Visual ethnography is inherently collaborative. In this workshop, we want to emphasise participatory visual ethnography by inviting the subjects of ethnography to take part in the different aspects of the creative process. We will connect the groups of students with NGOs and activists in Berlin to develop a collaborative ethnographic short film or a photography project.


In this five-day workshop, we will focus on the following points:

Day 1 (in-person and online)

Understanding ethnography as a research and artistic method
Introducing key concepts and debates around visual ethnography

Day 2

Training practical photography and filmmaking skills with minimal equipment
Acquiring basic editing skills

Day 3–5

Planning and realising an ethnographic short film or photography project in collaboration with NGOs/activists in Berlin


Interest in the social sciences and (or) audiovisual media.


Smartphone with a camera or digital camera
Laptop (please let us know if you do not have one)

Course leader

David Lowis, Dr. Rachael Kiddey, Owain Astles, Anoosh Ariamehr

Fee info

EUR 500: Min. number of participants:10
Max. number of participants:16