Covidentities – An interactive online screening of visual anthropology projects

This year’s visual anthropology event presents a diversity of films and interactive websites, many influenced by the pandemic.

Please join us for our annual visual anthropology celebration of student creativity at the School of Anthropology and Conservation. Students have produced diverse, engaged and personal short films and interactive, web-based projects on people and issues that matter to them.

The title of the event hints at the obstructive and productive challenges presented by the pandemic and what it has revealed about our personal and collective identities. This year, our students faced the added challenge of being in lockdown during a key period in the development and completion of their projects. Some lost relatives to the pandemic.

The usual screening event in the Gulbenkian is a highlight of the year for many within the School community. We present it this year online with the hope that many more people can join us and we can gather old friends and alumni. Three collections of films and interactive websites integrates the impact of the pandemic through online discussions:

  1. Communities – A series of films exploring topics including the sense of community developed in a video club in France, disconnection from loved ones as a result of quarantine and the cultural and community significance of teeth whilst interactive web projects explore such topics as plant-based healing and Jiu Jitsu communities.
  2. Home & Away – This session presents a contrasting series of portraits of a newly arrived family member and an inspirational grandmother to emotionally framed portraits of fellow students. Interactive web projects explore such topics as the impact of the pandemic on a family business.
  3. Identity Trips – The final series of films offer meditations on philosophical and poetic experiences of time, journeys into Afrobeat via preparation for a cancelled performance, and an exploration of an Egyptian visual anthropologist’s long commitment to Nomadic Bedouins. Interactive web projects aim to capture the essence of black identity touching on cultural assimilation and colourism and a quest for ‘sea change’ through self-exploration in the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

Each creates a conversation on a common theme through us finding links and the filling the gaps between them.

Films and interactive projects will be available to view online from the 3rd June. We recommend that you watch all the films and look at the websites from the same theme in one sitting. Each requires about one hour.

Our special online event on the 10th June will include extended discussions, an alumni meet-up, prize-giving and online drinks. The discussions will be an opportunity for our filmmakers to speak about their films, and for conversations to develop with those in the films, our international alumni, colleagues and friends.

You will need to register with Eventbrite to receive information of how to attend through Zoom: details of the day’s schedule can also be found on the page.

We welcome back Professor Hugh Brody and Dr Yasmin Fedda to award the Hugh Brody Visual Anthropology Prize and the New Horizons Prize. There will also be a Public Engagement Prize and an Alumni Award selected by prize winners from last year’s event.

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