Accepted paper:

Vampires and fear between Hollywood and Bandjoun

Authors:

Ivan Bargna (University of Milan-Bicocca)

Paper short abstract:

In 2009 I asked the artistic collective of Alterazioni Video to come with me to the Bamileke chiefdom of Bandjoun (Cameroon). The main topic of our work was the fear, an emotion we have investigated by filming some traditional secret societies masquerades (also using some Hollywood inspired masks), by making an horror movie with a local cast, and using the set and the backstage as an ethnographic field.

Paper long abstract:

Audio-visual media are a powerful vehicle of globalization by means of the creation of widespread mediascapes shaping the imagination and the feelings of the people all around the world. As a consequence the audio-visual media are not only a mean of the anthropological research but a constitutive part of the ethnographic field as well. It was in this perspective that in 2009 I asked the Italian artistic collective of Alterazioni Video to come with me to the Bamileke chiefdom of Bandjoun (Cameroon), where I usually do my research. The main topic of our work was the fear, an emotion we have investigated by filming some traditional secret societies masquerades (also using some Hollywood inspired masks), by making an horror movie with a local cast, and using the set and the backstage as an ethnographic field. We have tried to stay on the border between facts and fictions, feelings and actors performance, art and anthropology but also to question it. The vampires were the subject of the film, are a part of a shared global imagery but they are also an invisible, effective presence (dium) in local sorcery practices.

panel W126
Anxious visions and uncertain images