Berlin, Germany

Visual Ethnography: A Mode of Ethnographic Translation

when 26 July 2023 - 1 August 2023
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1 EC
fee EUR 580

Would you like to learn more about filmmaking, ethnography, and their intersections? In this workshop, we will provide you with the theoretical framework and practical skillset to produce your first visual ethnographic short film.

How do we translate our observations of the social and material relations of Others into visual media? What affordances – and risks – does this practice of translation hold for research and artistic practices? Ethnography as a method is concerned with trying to gain an in-depth understanding of the different people and things we encounter through considering their relations to each other and their surroundings. Engaging with the visible – and non-visible – aspects of these relations and making them accessible through visual media, while reflecting on the ethical responsibilities involved with this process, is the practice of visual ethnography. It is an attempt of making the insights of ethnography accessible beyond academia through translational acts.

In this course, we will invite our participants to create short visual ethnography films in groups. Before the course, we will have a virtual meeting discussing potential field sites and laying the groundwork for editing skills. During the first two days of the course, we will conduct a basic training in ethnography and filmmaking using mobile phones as our main filmmaking tools. In the following days, participants will conduct fieldwork and filming as well as editing. We will provide continuous mentorship, technical support and space for exchange during this period. On the final day, we will present all of the films and discuss the process, reflect on the results, and the capabilities of the visual ethnography medium to express their fieldwork.

Course leader

Deborah Sie, David Lowis and Owain Astles

Target group

This course is designed as an entry-level introduction to visual ethnography. We welcome students of all experience levels, however this will not be an advanced course in filmmaking.

Course aim

This course is a first introduction into visual ethnography and will equip you with all the basic knowledge to jumpstart your own filmmaking practice.

Fee info

EUR 580: course fee