PVF#1, GHENT, 8-11 MAY 2018
The Participatory Video Festival is an initiative of three PhD researchers from Ghent University; Tessa, Julie & Maarten, who all experiment with participatory video methods in their research projects.
The Festival’s aim is to explore the possibilities and value of participatory video for social sciences. Participatory video appeals to many students and researchers, but is not institutionalized (yet) as a ‘conventional’ research method. The Festival’s aim is to push the PV agenda and learn from the most innovative and relevant video-using trends in- and outside academia; in participatory action research, visual ethnography, visual arts, activism, advocacy work and so on.
The festival welcomes finished and unfinished video-materials of both early career as well as established scholars exploring human cultures, economies, politics and histories in their many facets. We also welcome submissions from filmmakers, artists and activists who include a research aspect in their projects. The Festival is open to all forms and styles of filmmaking, without restriction to theme and length.
During the festival, some experienced visual researchers, filmmakers and activists will introduce you to participatory video and show how they engage with PV in their work. Also, festival participants will be sharing their experiences and (raw) video materials.
EVERYBODY WELCOME - NO REGISTRATION FEE
Since the 1990s there has been a wave of art practices, productions and events that show significant similarities with anthropology and ethnographic research in their theorisations of cultural difference and representational practices which has been referred to as the ethnographic turn in contemporary art. At the same time, there has been growing interest in anthropology for contemporary art that started from a problematisation of the different possible ways to communicate ethnographic findings and insights. This interest has been referred to as the ‘sensory turn’ in anthropology and ethnographic research (Pink 2009). Arnd Schneider and Chris Wright (2006: 4) assert that ‘[a]nthropology’s iconophobia and self-imposed restriction of visual expression to text-based models needs to be overcome by a critical engagement with a range of material and sensual practices in the contemporary arts’. This implies that the ethnographic turn in contemporary art can be related to – and runs parallel with – a sensory turn in anthropology and ethnographic research. This is exemplified by anthropologists who are collaborating with artists, by artists who are creating projects generating anthropological insights, and by art projects that are produced as outcomes of ethnographic research. In my presentation, I will discuss the interrelationship between these different ’turns', based on a series of special issues of the journal Critical Arts that I have been guest editing together with An van. Dienderen. The following questions are addressed: In what way does art connect cultures and communities across borders? How does one capture people on camera (or recorder) with respect and integrity? What does it mean to make art in an age of “superdiversity”? What are the implications of shifts in our media ecology for the production, mediation, and representation of “culture”?
Kris Rutten studied Art History and Comparative Cultural Studies, and obtained a PhD in Educational Sciences with a dissertation on the rhetorical and narrative turn in education. He is currently working as professor at the Department of Educational Studies of Ghent University and specifically within the research group Culture & Education. His main research interests are (new) rhetoric, cultural studies, literacy studies, educational theory and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art.
KEYNOTE - Making of Pentecostal Melodrama
Katrien Pype will talk about her book 'Making of Pentecostal Melodrama' (2012). How religion, gender, and urban sociality are expressed in and mediated via television drama in Kinshasa is the focus of this ethnographic study. Influenced by Nigerian films and intimately related to the emergence of a charismatic Christian scene, these teleserials integrate melodrama, conversion narratives, Christian songs, sermons, testimonies, and deliverance rituals to produce commentaries on what it means to be an inhabitant of Kinshasa.
Katrien Pype is a research professor (BOF-ZAP, tenure track) with the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (KU Leuven University) and Birmingham Fellow (part-time) at the Department of African Studies & Anthropology at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her main research interests are in popular culture and technology, in particular entertainment, communication and cultural performances. She committed to using the anthropological tools of in-depth fieldwork in order to explore the social and symbolic contexts of people's life worlds. She has written about the production of television serials, politics and news production, and the participation of elderly people in local media worlds, all in the context of Kinshasa, DR Congo. She currently guides a team working on technology cultures in urban DR Congo and beyond (1960-present), in which 5 doctoral and postdoctoral scholars and herself will produce ethnographies of medical, energy and communication cultures in Kinshasa (DR Congo), Kikwit (DR Congo) and Nakuru (Kenya). She is also involved in a comparative research program on New Media Practices in a Changing in Africa, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Jo Helle-Valle (Development Studies at HiOA, Norway).
She co-initiated the CongoResearchNetwork (CRN) with Reuben Loffman and Aldwin Roes. CRN is an academic community that aims at enhancing dialogue and collaboration among Congo-scholars in the human and social sciences. To that extent, CRN organizes conferences and workshops in Europe and in DR Congo and publishes an online database of Congo-researchers. More information about previous and planned activities, the CRN workshop series in Kinshasa, and profiles of Congo-researchers can be found on the website of CRN.
An van. Dienderen
SCREENING & DIALOGUE - "Film is the celebration of a relationship"
Belgian Filmmaker An van Dienderen works at the intersection between documentary, anthropology and visual arts. While exploring various documentary strategies and the anthropological relation between self and other, she also investigates the medium of film in a self-reflective way. She investigates the opposition of fact and fiction, imagination and observation, representation and experience, using the importance of the image in our multicultural society as a point of departure. Her work shows the absurd, poetic, and often touching stories that these oppositions can hold in everyday life.
She graduated in audiovisual arts (Sint-Lukas, Brussels), obtained a PhD in Comparative Cultural Sciences (Ghent University), and was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley. She made several documentaries screened worldwide, awarded with (inter)national prizes. She regularly publishes on visual/performative anthropology, is a lecturer and artistic researcher at the School of Arts Ghent, and initiated the international art workspace SoundImageCulture.
SCREENING & DIALOGUE - "Film is the celebration of a relationship"
Christina Stuhlberger (b.1982, Passau) is a filmmaker working in Brussels. She obtained a BA and MA in Audiovisual Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (KASK) Ghent, as well as a BA and MA in Environmental Engineering at the University of Applied Sciences in Triesdorf. She is artist in residence at the Beursschouwburg in Brussels from 2017 till 2021 where she curates the Tumbleweed screening program for young filmmakers. Christina Stuhlberger won the VAF Wildcard for experimental film (2014) as well as the Cedric Willemen Prize for young artists working with moving image (2017). Her latest project is produced by Auguste Orts.
Effi Weiss (born in Israel, 1971) and Amir Borenstein (born in Israel, 1969) are an artist duo who have worked together since 1999. As visual artists, their work shifts between different disciplines such as video, performance and partcipatory projects. Their project "Housewarming" explores a two-dimensional dystopian landscape of deserted half-built houses in Albania. The filmmakers invade the houses and occupy their empty, liminal space and its missing furniture. The local community comments in song and speech about the new arrivals and their enterprise of an immigration in an opposite direction, from the full to the empty, from excess to lack.
SCREENING & DIALOGUE
Mark Saunders is an award winning independent documentary filmmaker, community media activist and writer. He is the founder of Despite TV, founding member of INURA (International Network for Urban Research and Action) and Spectacle, a radical media practice.
His films, including Battle of Trafalgar (on the 1990 poll tax revolt), The Truth Lies in Rostock 93 (on the rise of fascism in East Germany), Exodus Movement of Jah People and Exodus from Babylon, (about Exodus, the utopian urban collective), have been broadcast in the UK and internationally.
His work has been presented at Tate Britain, Institute of Contemporary Arts, National Film Theatre and the Photographer's Gallery, among others, including international festivals and TV. He has lectured internationally on urbanism and documentary and been published by Mute magazine and Routledge.
Read more about Mark Saunders.
SCREENING & DIALOGUE - "Understanding sexual humanitarianism from the global South through participative ethnographic filmmaking"
Nick Mai is a sociologist, an ethnographer and a filmmaker whose writing and films focus on the experiences and representations of migrants working in the sex industry. His two film-installations Samira and Travel form the diptych resulting from the Emborders art-science project questioning the effectiveness and scope of humanitarian initiatives targeting migrant sex workers and sexual minority asylum seekers through ethnographic research and ethnofictional filmmaking. In order to get their rights recognised and avoid deportation migrant women, men and transgender people selling sex need to represent their biographies and experiences according to stereotypical canons of exploitation and sex-gender taxonomies that are geared towards the global North and that often act as humanitarian biographical borders excluding them from protection and asylum.
Throughout his career as a sociologist, Nick aimed to convey the sensuous, performative and intersubjective dimensions of knowledge production as well as migrant’s understandings of their own needs and priorities, which often express experiences and sensibilities of the global South. In order to do so he developed a participative, creative and filmmaking-based methodology inspired by Jean Rouch’s ethnofictions and including research subjects as active producers and performers of their own representations by transcending the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, participation and observation, knowledge and emotions. His intention in approaching the genre of ethnofiction is to convey the complexity of migrants’ understandings of exploitation and self-realisation, to protect their identities and to challenge currently hegemonic neoliberal criteria of authenticity in scientific, documentary and humanitarian terms.
Trailer Samira: https://vimeo.com/262982625
Trailer Travel: https://vimeo.com/139963138
SEXHUM website: https://sexualhumanitarianism.wordpress.com/
Maarten is a PhD researcher at the Conflict Research Group at Ghent University. He examines the so-called “Anti-gang”, a rather ambiguous 'everyday policing actor' in the city of Goma (DRCongo). On their demand Maarten facilitated the movie “street life”, a fiction movie made by the Anti-gang wherein they perform how they see their life and role as policing actor in the cités of Goma.
Julie is a PhD researcher at the Department of Special Needs Education at Ghent University. She works on a VLADOC project with South Sudanese refugee youth in northern Uganda and uses photos and videos to better understand how youth experiences their lives in the refugee settlements. She also aims to use video as a means to disseminate her PhD results with a broader audience, as many of the youth explicitly wanted to share their stories.
Tessa is a PhD researcher inspired by multiple disciplines and qualitative methods at the History Department of Ghent University. She investigates the production and mobilization of historical narratives in 'post-conflict' Guatemala. Through ethnographic fieldwork & participatory video, she explores the relation between narrativity and political action in indigenous victim-survivor communities in the Alta Verapaz Department. This resulted in a performative ethnography of a participatory video process with a community of returnees resisting the construction of a hydroelectric dam on its territory.
De Koer is a local hotbed in full development in the middle of the 'Brugse Poort' neighbourhood in Ghent; a concrete space in the city as a dynamic playing-field for many projects and initiatives — artists in residency, collective building processes, music and film programming, a soap garden, a community oven and an unruly bar that's open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.
Meibloemstraat 86, Ghent, Belgium
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT
Getting to De Koer from Gent Korenmarkt (city centre) takes about 17 min by bus.
Getting to De Koer from station Ghent St-Pieters takes about 20 min by bus.
Check Google Maps for your travelling plan.
PARK + RIDE
P+R Bourgoyen (9 min by bus, 20 min walk)
SUGGESTIONS FOR ACCOMODATIONS
Hostel Uppelink (18 min by bus, 25 min walk) - Use the code "PROMO" if you make your reservation to get a 5% PVF#1 discount!
Ibis Gent Centrum St Baafs Kathedraal *** (20 min by bus, 30 min walk)
Ibis Gent Centrum Opera ** (25 min by bus, 32 min walk)
13 O'clock Hostel (23 min by bus, 30 min walk) - 15% PVF#1 discount if you mention the Festival when making your reservation!
KaBa Hostel (30 min by bus, 40 min walk)
The Cover Hostel (21 min by bus, 30 min walk) - PVF#1 discount if you mention the Festivan when making your reservation!
We also organize workshops for visual researchers on how to generate impact with your PV project, how to rethink participation using video, how to get started with participatory video editing and video production and how to generate knowledge through arts based research.
The venue of the festival is De Koer in Ghent.
There is no registration fee.
We look forward to welcoming you to the first edition of the Participatory Video Festival!
© 2018 by Tessa Boeykens, Ghent, Belgium
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