EASA2014: Collaboration, Intimacy & Revolution

(Plenary C)

Young scholars forum

Location A-002
Date and Start Time 03 August, 2014 at 14:00

Convenors

Alberto Corsin Jimenez (Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)) email
Klavs Sedlenieks (Riga Stradins University) email
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Short Abstract

YSF looks into the future of anthropology through a debate about experiments with the form and content of anthropological presentation. YSF starts with 8 very short presentations, followed by a discussion on the current state of anthropology and novel digital and visual forms of communication

View the presentations at this URL: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqT7STVwsocQdOyuojiCAjv4fGvcohxym

Long Abstract

This year Young Scholars Forum proposes to look into the future of anthropology through a debate about experiments with the form and content of anthropological presentation. The event will start with 7 very short video+oral presentations by young scholars illustrating emerging anthropological talent, themes and ideas. The format is purposely designed to provoke some thoughts on the registers of anthropological description. The presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the current state of anthropology, and in particular on the ways in which anthropology can experiment with novel digital and visual forms of communication, at a time where the Internet has opened-up a "long tail" of audiences, but where notions of impact, excellence and evidence-based research are constraining what "knowledge" is understood to be. The organisers hope that the Young Scholars Forums will properly become a venue for pulsating what anthropology is up to today.

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Papers

A Brazilian in Shetland: a musical trajectory through an eclectic music-scene

Author: Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes (University of Aberdeen)  email

Short Abstract

This audiovisual presentation summarizes my creative trajectory as an ethnographer, performer, and eventually a video producer in the Shetland Isles, northern Scotland, where I have been residing since October 2012. It will showcase range of genres, venues, creative projects and interviews.

Long Abstract

My PhD fieldwork project focuses on the variety of musical genres being played in Shetland, the role of venues and architectures, the work of sound engineers, study participants' mobilities and uses of technologies of musical production. I hoped to become involved in the local music scenes as a musician. My goal in this video is to represent how my experiences unfolded into unforeseeable creative paths, exceeding my earlier expectations of involvement. Still in 2012, I became active as a jazz musician, playing bass and guitar with talented local youth. In the summer of 2013, I became the bass player for the rock band SpootHawk, featuring Arthur Nicholson on guitar, winner of a 'Danny' award at the Celtic Connection festival in Glasgow for his work as a singer-songwriter. I was responsible for the photography and CD layout for Arthur's album 'Sticks and Stones' and directed his music video 'Ready to Go.' I was also involved as musician in the National Theatre of Scotland project 'Ignition,' and as a filmmaker and photographer in the local project 'Back from Beyond,' subjects of my ASA 2014 conference presentation. Eventually, in December 2013, I co-founded a small production company with a local, after producing three music videos that were chosen to be shown by Promote Shetland, an agency funded by the Scottish Government, during the Up Helly Aa 2014 broadcast. This video presentation seeks to represent my social and musical trajectory in Shetland by organizing clips from hundreds of hours of performance and interview footage.

Mobile childhood: lifestyle migrant children in Goa, India

Author: Mari Korpela (University of Tampere)  email

Short Abstract

The presentation presents an ethnographic study among lifestyle migrant children in Goa, India. It describes the children's transnationally mobile lifestyle and some of their social and cultural practices. In addition to ethnographic data, the presentation utilises photos and children's drawings.

Long Abstract

This presentation introduces my ethnographic study among lifestyle migrant children in Goa, India. There is an increasing number of Western families who repeatedly spend the winter months in Goa and the rest of the year somewhere else, usually in the parents' native countries. Searching for a better quality of life in Goa is the parents' choice but my research focuses on the children's experiences and conceptualisations. I argue that for the children, the transnational mobility is the state of normality. At the same time, they are constantly confronted with the current national order of things and the "sedentary norm" that it implies. Consequently, the children must constantly define and negotiate their place within that order. In my presentation, I use photos from Goa as well as children's drawings. I describe how the research was conducted and I discuss the transnationally mobile lifestyle that the children are leading as well as the social and cultural environment in which they live in Goa. I also show how the children give particular meanings to places that are significant for them. My presentation illustrates how anthropological approach can be used to study contemporary phenomena. My presentation also shows how rich (and colorful) data one can gain from intensive long-term ethnographic research.

Fishing with empathy: knowing and catching fish on the Kemi River in Finnish Lapland

Author: Franz Krause (University of Cologne)  email

Short Abstract

Based on ethnographic work with people fishing on the Kemi River, this presentation suggests that small-scale fishing can be understood in terms of the fishers’ empathetic relating with fish, which makes their fishing a participation in the fish’s coming into being, and coming to be caught.

Long Abstract

This presentation develops an argument concerning the empathetic relationship between hunter and prey, applying it to the relations between small-scale fishers and fish. Drawing on ethnographic material from the Kemi River, as well as recent work on fishing, it suggests that although fishers most often do not see the fish directly, they know their whereabouts and movements through an empathetic engagement with the fish. They come to know and to catch the fish by attuning their feeling and thinking to the presumed experiences of the fish. People on the Kemi do not see fish as merely the animal itself, but include in their empathetic relationship the behaviour and environment of the fish. A brief analysis of fishing techniques used on the Kemi River will subsequently illustrate that they represent what can be called an inversion of the fish's life story. Small-scale fishing therefore emerges as an ongoing attempt to participate in the fish's becoming, and to slightly manipulate this process towards the fish's capture. Overall, the presentation contributes towards understanding how we live in a world not made up of insurmountable disparities between different 'cultures' and 'species', but emerging from interactions and resonances.

A view from the ground: Amerindian children as agents of change

Author: Camilla Morelli (University of Bristol)  email

Short Abstract

This talk focuses on Matses children of Peruvian Amazonia and investigates their role in social change. I use children’s drawings and photographs to explore imaginative and non-verbal realms of knowledge, and to argue that children actively effect change and shape the future of their society.

Long Abstract

This talk focuses on indigenous Matses children of Peruvian Amazonia and investigates their role in processes of social change. It therefore addresses a lacuna in the regional literature, which largely overlooks children's lives and perspectives despite children and youth constituting the highest demographic in Amerindian populations. I argue that children effect social transformations in silent ways, i.e. by developing new ways of knowing and relating to the world distinct from older generations, but which are often unspoken and not put into words. By showing a mixture of drawings and photographs taken by children in the field, I explore their implicit ways of engaging with the world through action, movement and the imagination. The slides will focus on two main points, discussing how young Matses contribute to: (i) the progressive passage from a forest-based lifestyle to a riverine one; and (ii) the growing importance of nonindigenous practices, places and materials in Matses society. While elderly Matses still rely on the forest for survival, children are distancing themselves from the forest and prefer engaging with the river and urban environments (even if at a distance, through the imagination). In doing so, children are actively shaping the future of Matses society. The slides will set up this argument by showing children's visual forms of expression, namely photographs and drawings, which reveal unspoken feelings and attitudes towards the world (for instance children's passion for the river and their distance from the forest) that are key to understanding their agency in social change.

We are the first to see the sunrise, the last to get justice!

Author: Georgeta Stoica (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - IRD France)  email

Short Abstract

This paper presents a critical perspective on the consequences of the ten-year sturgeon-fishing ban (2006-2016) in the village of Hezra (Danube Delta - Romania) and its slow shift from a traditional fishing village into a touristic destination that completely revolutionized the inhabitants’ life.

Long Abstract

During the last twenty years, the village of Hezra, located inside the area of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, has witnessed rapid transformations of the regulations concerning the nature conservation and species protection. In 2006 Romania announced a ten-year ban on commercial fishing of wild sturgeons (Acipenseridae) that had a dramatic impact on the inhabitants of the Danube Delta. Information on the ban has been delivered overnight with no opportunity for the fishers to react or oppose. Moreover, the arrival of new "actors" (businessmen, fish traders) to the local scene, the so-called "strangers", changed the "landscape" even more leading to the construction of a touristic village, promotion and organization of festivals (i.e. Annual Independent Film Festival). In this presentation, I want to raise the questions of limits of nature conservation and conflict concerning the access to natural resources which left aside the local population and determined the social change undergone by this community of sturgeon fishers.

Ethnic humour and ethnic collaboration: two different regions, two different approaches

Author: Anastasiya Zhvaleuskaya (Belarusian State University)  email

Short Abstract

While in some multicultural regions ethnic humour is regarded as a playful and inoffensive way of communication, this may not be true in other multicultural regions. This paper examines the role of ethnic humour in ethnic collaboration in two regions of Belarus.

Long Abstract

While in some multicultural regions ethnic humour is regarded as a playful and inoffensive way of communication, this may not be true in other multicultural regions. The case study of the Belarus-Lithuania border region reveals that for both Belarusians and Lithuanians ethnic humour is a part of their everyday communication. However, ethnic humour does not prevent the two nations from fruitful collaboration and friendly relations. In some cases the humour even strengthens the collaboration between Lithuanians and Belarusians as they can compensate for one another in certain areas of skill.

The case of Semezhevo, a village in central Belarus, is quite different. The majority of its population are Belarusians, but in the 1980s there was a considerable migration from Kazakhstan. The migrants were not welcome among the local population. Nevertheless, the locals claim they did not and do not make fun of the newcomers. An interview with the members of the Kazakh community showed that they view the situation differently, believing they are often subjected to ethnic jokes, many of which they find offensive. But the Belarusians and the Kazakhs were unanimous that ethnic collaboration in the village is nearly non-existent. The communities tend to avoid one another, and do not help the members of the other community the same way as they help each other.

This comparison shows that ethnic humour itself does not indicate the presence or absence of ethnic collaboration. But the attitudes towards it may vary considerably depending on the situation in a particular region.

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