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The Minstrel

The Minstrel

This documentary has been created as part of the Digital Anthropology (MSc) program at UCL and has been nominated one of the three best films in the autumn/winter class in 2012.

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A Long Way back (2021)

A Long Way back (2021)

” You can be free in prison and imprisoned while free”

Description: The protagonists of this film have spent their lives searching for freedom, while at the same time escaping loneliness. The choices they made each time led them to new trials, and life punished them again and again. They come into conflict with the law, their parents turn their backs on them, their partners abandon them, but they carry on with their lives without really knowing where to or what for. The stories of their lives are similar and at the same time the path of each was different. What does it mean to live properly, to be “like everyone else”, not to fall by the wayside, how to find the one and those who need you? The heroes of the film were at death’s door, they started from zero, fell to the bottom, spent many years behind bars… At some point they found out about a religious community whose ministers help people who are in a difficult life situation. And now the heroes of the film, in their opinion, are on their way to long-awaited freedom. This longed-for freedom has already taken a lot away – time, youth, health, friends.

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Representational Revolution:  the backcloth to an argument

Representational Revolution: the backcloth to an argument

‘Image making is often considered one
of the unique and quintessential competences
of Homo sapiens sapiens, differentiating
the subspecies, for example, from H. sapiens
neanderthalenis and from earlier hominds.’

From Whitney Davis’ paper ‘The Origins of Image Making’
[Davis, 1986, Jun., Vol. 27, No. 3, p. 193.]

The nineteenth-century is characterised by an energy for, and an enthusiasm about, the representational which has outstripped anything before, or indeed since, in its general range and basic inventiveness. During a handful of decades the representational was, to an unprecedented degree, mechanised, democratised, popularised, and humanised. For instance, the mechanisation of the representational is most readily pegged out between markers such as the discovery of photography in the 1830’s; the first recording of sound in 1877; and the invention of wireless and cinematography in the 1890’s.[i]

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The Liquid Supermarket (Midden)

The Liquid Supermarket (Midden)

The video is a journey through Boeng Trabaek channel, a sewage and storm water drain which runs through south end of the city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Filmed and edited by Dr Emit Snake-Beings over the two months spent crossing ‘stink canal’ on a daily basis, whilst staying in the city January – February 2019.

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News/updates

CALL FOR VISUAL STUDIES CO-EDITOR

Deadline: July 1, 2024

The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) and the Visual Studies Editorial Board invite nominations for the position of Co-Editor for a three-year term (July 2024–July, 2027) with the possibility of a three year renewal (July 2027–July, 2030). The new co-editor will be joining a supportive and experienced team of co-editors and will be given ample time to get up to speed.

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IVSA Awards – Call For Nominations

NOMINATIONS DEADLINE FEB 16, 2024
VISUAL SOCIOLOGY Awards (Rieger)
VISUAL METHODOLOGY Award (Prosser)
ANTI-COLONIAL and ANTI-RACISM Awards (ACAR)

The nomination deadline for the 2024 IVSA Awards Programs is February 16, 2024. This is the last day nominations and supplementary materials will be accepted for all IVSA award programs, including:

RIEGER Awards ($1000): for outstanding work in visual sociology by graduate students
PROSSER Award ($1000): for outstanding work in visual methodologies by beginning scholars
ACAR Awards ($1000): for exceptional work in advancing Anti-Colonial and Anti-Racism goals and principles

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  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

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    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

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    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

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    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

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    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

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    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

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    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

  • So it is my firm belief, that if you want nowadays, to have a clear and distinct communication of your concepts, you have to use synthetic images, no longer words.

    Vilém Flusser

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

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    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

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    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

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    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

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    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

#Visualsociology

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