The challenge of representation: Ethnography as a basis for fictional film
Synnøve Bendixsen (UiB) and Kari Hagatun (UiB)
In her talk, Synnøve will discuss how ethnographic studies can reach an audience through the medium of ethnographic fictional film. She will draw on the experience of coproducing with Hilde Danielsen (NORCE) the ethnographic-based fictional short film Birthday Parents (2018), directed by Savas Boyraz.
The talk will reflect on the process of transforming findings from an ethnographic study on parenting in multicultural Norway. The topic of the celebration of birthdays was chosen for the film because it was a phenomenon which parents and professionals brought up repeatedly in various ways at different settings during their fieldwork. What happens with representation in the process of turning ethnographic experiences and insights into an ethnographic fictional film?
Ethnographic filmmaking and visual anthropology have a long history in social anthropology and ethnology. Simultaneously, ethnography is intertwined with political dimensions, and ethnographers enter a field already filled with power relations. What are the ethical and political considerations when transforming ethnography to film?
Exploring some of the same questions, Kari Hagatun will share some of the possibilities and challenges she experienced when using art photography in dissemination of ethnographic research. Drawing on the experiences in her Ph.d. on the educational situation for Roma children in Norway, she asks: How can we mediate such powerful tools in ways that do not amplify existing stereotypes in the public, when we strive for the opposite?
About the speakers:
Synnøve Bendixsen is Chair of the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, where she is also associate professor. She is the co-editor in chief of the Nordic Journal of Migration Research (NJMR) together with Lena Näre, and a board member of IMER. Bendixsen has published extensively on issues related to irregular migration, borders, religiosity, and parenting.
Kari Hagatun is associate professor in the Department of Education, University of Bergen. She is former co-coordinator for the IMER Junior Network and is now the leader of IMER. Hagatun finished her article-based Ph.D. on the educational situation for Roma in Norway in May 2021.
The seminar is onsite only and will not be streamed. You find us in Jekteviksbakken 31.
The seminar is arranged in cooperation with IMER Bergen.
Photo credit: Savas Boyraz