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Online event

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

About this event

Welcome to our annual visual anthropology celebration of student creativity at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent. 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 lock-down 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 of us. We present it this year online with the hope that many more people can join us and that 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, 2. Home & Away, and 3. Identity Trips. 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 online event on the 10th June will include extended discussions, an alumni meet-up, a prize giving and online drinks. The discussions will be an opportunity for our filmmakers to speak about their and other 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 login with Zoom. You will need to download Zoom to your computer, tablet or phone.

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.

You will need to register with Eventbrite to participate on the 10th June.


Discussions and Q and A

2.00 -2.50 pm Introduction and Communities

3-3.40 pm Home and Away

3.40-4.10 Current students and Alumni Meet-Up

4.15-4.55 pm Identity Trips

5-6 Prize Giving

Public Engagement Prize-awarded by Dr Daniela Peluso & Georgia Buckland

Alumni Prize-awarded by prize winning alumni from Resolutionaries 2019

New Horizons Prize-awarded by Dr Yasmin Fedda

Hugh Brody Visual Anthropology Prize-awarded by Professor Hugh Brody

6-onwards- Online Drinks- To replace our post event drinks and food at the Gulbenkian we will meet online via Zoom. There will be the opportunity of smaller rooms and meeting places to meet the filmmakers and catch up with friends. This will start after the prize winning.

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Online event

Organiser Dr Mike Poltorak

Organiser of Covidentities

Dr Mike Poltorak is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the School of Anthropology and Conservation at the University of Kent and convenor of the visual anthropology modules. His collaborative philosophy of film making was inspired by two years of using a video camera as an integral part of medical anthropological research on traditional healing and mental illness in the South Pacific island group of Tonga.  There he learned the importance of the relationship between filmmaker and subjects to creating a film with integrity and utility for the community. For him, ethnographic and documentary film making is one part of a journey of research and engagement, which aims at social and policy change. The collaborative and feedback based process he follows is demonstrated in ‘Fun(d)raising’ (a film about Tongan comedy), ‘ One Week West of Molkom’ (a collaborative documentary on volunteers at the ‘No Mind’ festival in the community of Angsbacka in central Sweden) and Five Ways In, where he followed five people through the Freiburg International Contact Festival in Germany. The Healer and the Psychiatrist is his fourth documentary. Based on 20 years of video and medical anthropological research it creates a conversation between a traditional healer and and the only Tongan psychiatrist on the nature of mental illness and spiritual affliction. It will be distributed by DER and is currently being screened at international film festivals.

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