Friday, March 09, 2007

FRIDAY 9th March : Art of Remembering

The Art of Remembering: photography, art and anthropology in Ghana @ the October Gallery
9th March, 2007, 6.30-10pm

24 Old Gloucester Street, WC1N 3AL

In the week of the 50th Jubilee anniversay of the independence of Ghana, the Royal Anthropological Institute's Discover Anthropology programme brings you an evening of film screenings by visual anthropologists, plus a chance to explore the October Gallery's current exhibition of work by leading West African artists El Anatsui, Romauld Hazoume and Owusu-Annkomah. The event will be compered by Paul Basu, an anthropology lecturer from Sussex University, who worked in TV and film before becoming an anthropologist. After the main screening of "Future Remembrance: photography and image arts in Ghana" by Nancy du Plessis and Tobias Wendl, vistors can explore the gallery, chat to the anthropologists, watch short films about Ghana by students or have a free glass of wine.

This event is free, but booking highly recomnended as space is limited: To book a free place email Gem on, 0207 387 0455.
Doors open 6.30pm, Main screening 7-8pm.

Future Remembrance
is a fascinating documentary about the social, economic and cultural contexts of the work of studio photographers, sculptors and coffin makers in Ghana. Visual anthropologists are interested in all aspects of representation including performance, museums, art, indigenous media as well as the production and reception of mass media. They ask questions abot how people use different kinds of media to think with and express identites. As one of the photographer's featured in the film says: "pictures talk in silence, they don't make noise but they talk a lot."

SATURDAY 10th March - Ghana Study Day at the British Museum

Free afternoon of discussions and presentations on different topics surrounding Ghanaian culture and social change over the last 50 years since Independence. This is event is being held at the Centre for Anthropology at the British Museum. Several of the speakers are anthropologists, including Jonathan King who is Keeper of the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas at the British Museum. The day is open to everyone (you don't have to be an academic!).

To book a free place contact Laura Rooke on 0207 323 8908 or,uk

SUNDAY 11th March - My new favourite museum

Today I'm going to the Pitt River's Museum in Oxford, which is possibly my favourite museum! It is definitely the most unique museum I have ever been into - absolutely crammed with different objects from the shrunken heads used in Harry Potter to lucky charms held in the pockets of Cornish Fisherman. It's an "ethnographic" museum, which basically means anthropological. Unlike most museums you visit, the objects are not arranged by date or region, rather by theme or function, so that you find yourself making comparisons and thinking about the different (and similar) ways people create solutions to the same problems all round the world. My favourite case is called "Treatment of Dead Enemies," which juxtaposes shrunken heads from the Philippines, with pictures of royal beheading at the Tower of London.

David Attenborough in the foreword to the museum's introductory booklet says " are led to delight in the versatility and ingenuity of the extraordinary species of which you are a member."

I also like the fact that you can ask for torch to explore some of the darkest recesses of the museum and that at closing time one of the university porters comes round ringing a huge bell!

MONDAY 12th March: Free film screening about being a mother and illness in Kenya

As part of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Discover Anthropology education programme we are showing a number of films upstairs in the meeting room. The film screenings are designed for people new to anthropology and are completely free. The one on Monday is an intimate account of a woman's life, motherhood, children and illness in western Kenya, as well as an insight into the nature of ethnographic fieldwork (i.e what do anthropologists actually do!?). Wenzel Geissler from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical medicine, who was one of the film-makers will on hand to talk about the making of the film and answer any questions. To book a place email Gem on, 0207 387 0455

TUESDAY 13th March: Anthropology film about Cricket! and Radical Anthropology Group

Another ESRC Festival of Social Science anthropology film at the Royal Anthropological Institute (50 Fitzroy Street, W1T 5BT) at 4pm This is a multi-award winning film documenting the transformation by Trobriand Islanders of the game of cricket first introduced by British Missionaries into a political ritual. Free and open to everyone.

WEDNESDAY 14th March: Screening of critically acclaimed Sisters in Law

Wednesday's free film screening at the Royal Anthropological Institute, as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science .

Screening is at 50 Fitzroy Street, W1T 5BT, London at 4pm.

To mark International Women's day (8th March), the Royal Anthropological Institute brings you another chance to see the critically acclaimed "Sisters in Law" (2005)by Kim Longinotto and Florence Ayisis. This film has been screened at over 200 film festivals and as part of MORE4's True Stories series.

Six year old Manka has run away from home, fleeing her abusive aunt. Sonita has daringly accused her neighbour of rape. Amina has decided to end her brutal marriage by taking her husband to court. Set in Kumba, a small town in Southwest Cameroon, Sisters in Law follows the work of two female lawyers as they try to help women change their lives.

To book a free place email Gem at, 0207 387 0455. If you can't make the screening you can always buy/rent the film from the Royal Anthropological Institute' film library or email the film officer on

THURSDAY 15th March: Steel Lives film - free

Thursday's film at Royal Anthropological Institute as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science.

Free film screening of "Steel Lives." A common misconception about anthropology is that it is only concerned with "far away" places and people. In fact anthropologists work in all different kinds of places and contexts from tribal communities to multi-national corporations. The anthropologist/filmmaker of Steel Lives, Massimiliano Mollona (now a lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London), spent some months working alongside Sheffield Steelworkers for his PhD. This film is a look at the working lives of men who work in what remains of the Sheffield Steel Industry.

To book a free place email Gem at, 0207 387 0455

FRIDAY 16th March: Free film about the Hamar Tribe, London

Friday's film as part of the Royal Anthropological Institutes's contribution to the ESRC Fesitbal of Social Science.

Did you watch the Hamar episode of the BBC series Tribe? Bruce Kaplan from Tribe is NOT an anthropologist (although the series makers do consult with some anthropologists in the making of the series), but the filmmaker of this film about the Hamar is. It's a good chance to see the difference between anthropological documentaries and commercial documentaries.

Jean Lydall (filmmaker and anthropologist) has been making films with the Hamar community of Southern Ethiopia since the 1970s. In 2001 she returned with her daughter and grandson to follow the continuing life of Duka. Candid interviews reveal the complex family dynamics when Duka's husband, Sago, takes a second wife.

The film screening is taking place at 4pm at 50 Fitzroy Street, W1T 5BT.
To book a free place email Gem at, 0207 387 0455