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The royal anthropological institute

Announcing the 6th International Festival of ethnograhic film. 17-20 September 1998
p. 199-200

Incorporating the Royal Anthropological Institute's Biennal Film Prize

Hosted by the Departments of Anthropology & Visual Arts, Goldsmiths College, University of London

The deadline for the submission of films is April 1st 1998

For further information contact RAI, 50 Fitzroy Street,

London W 1P 5HS

Tel: 0171 387 0455. Fax: 0171 383 4235.


While retaining all the features of previous festivals, the 6th International Festival of Ethnographic Film will also include a two-day conference bringing together experts in various fields concerned with visual representation. Goldsmiths College, with an international reputation for its contribution to the visual arts, is a particularly appropriate site for mounting a multi-disciplinary conference of this nature.

  • Opening reception

  • Continuous parallel screenings

  • Competitive film screenings

  • Video archive of 100+ films

  • Installations and exhibitions


  1. Film & development

  2. Rock music & film

Campus accomodations available

The Conference : Vision/Witness/Profession

  1. Artists and ethnographers positioned in the real world

  2. Practices of representation among artists and ethnographers

  3. The politics and aesthetics of representation

  4. The framing and reframing of the visible

The conference will reflect on a number of issues proposed by its title « vision/witness/profession ». Despite the widely-held view that late modern cultural life is overwhelmingly visual, there can hardly be said to be a consensus about what is at issue as a consequence of this view even within professional fields in which visual representation is a major preoccupation. The notions « seeing is believing » and « the picture speaks for itself » typify the conundrum. Unremarkable clichés, widely employed, but largely – and unproblematically – unintelligible. What does seeing have to do with belief? In what sense do pictures speak? Within our own professional realms we are accustomed to dealing with ambiguities, contradictions – and naturally, clichés – as a matter of course. They are part of the job remit. But we are also in fields which are not totally circumscribed by professional concerns. Anthropology and art as academic practices are also charged with addressing broader audiences, and one of the aims of this conference is to look at the boundaries between and among anthropology, the visual (fine?) arts and their affiliated audiences.

A range of international speakers is to be announced in the new year.

For further information about the event write to the organiser Jill Sheridan, The Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, London SE14 6NW.

Tel: 0171 919 7800. Fax: 0171 919 7813.


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