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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  October 2019

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS October 2019

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Subject:

Call for Chapters: ON DEMAND. EXPLORATIONS OF COMMISSIONED AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTIONS

From:

Alex Vailati <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Alex Vailati <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:38:44 -0300

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (91 lines)

Call for Chapters – Book proposal to be submitted to PALGRAVE publisher

Editors:

Alex Vailati (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Brazil).

Gabriela Zamorano (El Colegio de Michoacán, Mexico).


Proposed book title: ON DEMAND. EXPLORATIONS OF COMMISSIONED AUDIOVISUAL
PRODUCTIONS


Timetable
Please send initial expressions of interest or enquiries preferably by
November 15th, 2019. Abstracts of chapters (350-500 words) should be
submitted to editors Alex Vailati ([log in to unmask]) and Gabriela
Zamorano ([log in to unmask]) by December 2nd, 2019. Final manuscripts
(between 6000-8000 words) should be submitted to the editors by May 29th,
2020 (or earlier).


Details of the book.


Over the last two decades, the advent of cheap, user-friendly video
technologies has contributed to a huge revolution in representational
agency. Videos are now made by production units that are at times comprised
of families, churches, musical groups, community associations or other
institutions. Thus, videos produced and distributed within local and
atypical networks profoundly shape contemporary imaginaries. The
contemporary film production industry is also evolving as a result of this
phenomenon. With the affirmation of nonlinear editing and DSLR
video-recording technologies, the field of “social video”, as it is
emically known, is becoming increasingly solid. Depending on the production
context, some of these practices are explained as “vernacular” or “popular”
video.

On a global level, there are production companies specialized in recording
specific moments of social life. The example of the so-called family cinema
phenomenon is among the most relevant practices. Marriages, birthdays and
births are some of the family events that videos turn into “facts” and
memories. In these films, we find highly sophisticated cinema languages and
continuous aesthetic experimentation coupled to ingenious distribution
strategies, often through social networks. These videos, in fact, result
from interesting processes of negotiation and interaction between clients
and video makers. Other production realms include the proliferation of
low-budget musical clips and fictional shorts that, while mimicking film
industry aesthetics, involve expressions of local concerns and fantasies
around issues such as social status, violence and migration.

An analysis of the fields of family and vernacular cinema helps reveal how
these topics remain on the outskirts of ethnological research. For example,
an examination of experiences with “family film archives”, which is a
recognized field of historical and film studies, shows how these media
become “memories” of events for families and individuals and enable
addressing issues of intimacy and affection.

The aim of this book is to discuss ethnographic possibilities for
addressing the relevant fields of “commissioned” and “vernacular”
audiovisual practices and archives. Beginning with family cinema, the panel
will explore different fields, such as videos commissioned by ethnic
organizations, institutions or political networks. We will address the
importance of field-based research on how “on-demand videos” are produced
and circulated from an economic, political and aesthetic perspective. This
can be a key strategy for understanding how imaginaries and subjectivities
are “locally produced” and how they relate to both local realities and
global narratives.

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