Saturday, May 01, 2010

Diary for May 2010

SUNDAY 2nd May - Asahi Anime Festival

For the past two days Brighton's Bartholomew Square has been transformed by a street festival combining Japanese music, food, karaoke and Manga. The highlight of the festival is the cosplay competition where Manga fans dress up and compete to win the Final Fantasy hero award! Click here to find out more information. Anthropologists have long been interested in Manga as an art form and means of expression and many interesting ethnographies have been written about the subject. To find out more about the anthropology of Manga, visit the Centre for Anthropology library at the British Museum and peruse through the numerous books.

MONDAY 3rd May- Bookings are now open for London Anthropology Day!

London Anthropology Day is the largest national open day for anthropology in Britain. Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute in collaboration with the British Museum (BM) and participating universities the event will be held on July 8th at the BM's Education Clore Centre. The LAD is open to Year 12/13 and FE students, teachers and career advisers who want to find out more about anthropology and gain first-hand experience of what it is like to study the subject at university. The LAD 2010 will have 18 universities attending from England, Wales and Ireland, making this year the biggest event to date. The LAD is free but advanced booking is necessary. For more information and to book your free place, please visit:

MONDAY 3rd May- Brighton Festival

The 44th annual Brighton Festival has a full programme of debates, music, dance performances and outdoor events. An anthropological highlight of the festival is the free outdoor event: Bodies in Urban Spaces. Conceived and created by Austrian choreographer Willi Dorner, the idea is for people to meet at a secret location and join in making human sculptures that recreates our urban space. The sculpture is led by 20 'movement artists' (dancers, climbers and athletes) but others can join in as well. Watch the architectural creation in action, and find out how to get involved in this year's festival! The festival runs until the 23rd of May.

MONDAY 3rd May- Tomorrow: a Film Instillation by Fiona Tan

As part of the 2010 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, the city's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) presents a video instillation entitled Tomorrow by internationally renowned artist Fiona Tan. The instillation challenges assumptions about identity, race and ethnicity by exploring the intimate lives of a group of schoolchildren in Sweden. Tan lives and works in Amsterdam and is best known for her film and photography work on human representation. You and read an interview with the artist and her instillation Tomorrow in the Herald Scotland. The exhibition is free and runs until the 27th September.

WEDNESDAY 5th May- Right to the City Workshop

The Urban Rights Group at the University of Manchester's Institute for Development Policy and Management is hosting a free workshop for early career/doctoral researchers with an interest in the Right to the City. 'The aim of the workshop is to discuss the Right to the City as it relates to theory and practice in global Southern cities, from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and with regard to diverse human issues, including poverty and land tenure'. The event is free but spaces are limited. To book your free place contact:

THURSDAY 6th May-REWIND: A Cantana for Voice, Tape and Testimony

Tonight at 7:30pm at the Royal Festival Hall a fantastic performance of music and digital art called Rewind will take place. Rewind is a composition which 'celebrates the human spirit that rose above the horror of South African apartheid'. Philip Miller mixes traditional and operatic South African music styles. The music is complemented by Gerhard Marx's animated projections of photographs and text of testimonies of victims and perpetrators. For more information and ticket prices, visit this website.

FRIDAY 7th May- Wall Paintings of Shekhawati, Rajastan

Ilay Cooper is a writer, photographer and art historian who has lectured at the British Museum, the V&A and the Courtauld Institute. Ilay has spent some 10 years exploring Shekhawati and the surrounding region, documenting its famous painted buildings. The murals decorate mansions, temples and caravanserais. They embrace Hindu mythology, folk tales, history, everyday life, animals, plants erotica, foreigners and a wealth of decorative designs. Join Ilay as he talks about his adventures and his book 'The Painted Towns of Shekhawati'. The event is held at the Ebenezer Chapel, in Somerset. Tickets include a glass of wine and curry supper. Call 07860 480035 to reserve your place.

FRIDAY 7th May- Ethnography Beyond Ethnos

The Anthropological Association of Ireland's Annual Conference is taking place over the next two day at Trinity College in Dublin. The keynote lecture " Framing Conflict: measurement, objectification and comparison in studies of violence and practices for its amelioration' will be given by Dr. Yael Navarro-Yashin from Cambridge University. On-site registration for non-members is 15 pounds. For more information and to download a full programme visit

FRIDAY 7th May - Real Food Festival

If you are a fan of going to Borough market chatting to local producers and tasting artisan food, then you may be interested in attending the Real Food Festival. Running from the 7th-10th of May,the festival is held every year at London's Earl Court. The festival showcases organic and artisan food made from farmers in England and all over Europe, as well as cooking demonstrations and workshops and much more. For more information and ticket prices check out the Real Food Festival website.

SATURDAY 8th May- RAI's International Meaning of Water Photo Contest Now Online!

The Royal Anthropological Institute's Education Programme launched a photo contest called The Meaning of Water which ran alongside their ESRC 2010 outreach events. The photo contest focused on the human relationship to water in the context of: livelihoods and sustainability; religion and spirituality; trade and transport and management and access. The contest was an amazing success with over 200 submissions from all over the world. The panel of judges included Professor Elizabeth Edwards, Dr. Chris Wright, Amanda Vinson, Guven Witteveen and contest organiser Nafisa Fera. The panel were amazed at the quality of the photographs submitted and decided to make two short-lists (Runner-Ups and Finalists) for each category. The short-listed photos are going online today! Take a look at the photos on our Flickr Gallery and the Discover Anthropology website.

THURSDAY 13th May- Frazer Strikes Back from the Armchair

Tonight from 6-7pm at LSE's Old Theatre, Dr. Rane Willerslev will argue that 'the Malinowskian recourse to empirical evidence as the ultimate criterion for anthropological knowledge is misguided'. Do we always have to undertake ethnographic fieldwork as Malinowski did in order that our research be validated as anthropologists? Dr. Willerslev argues that some phenomena such as the 'soul' and 'ritual blood sacrifice' are beyond empirical experience. The event is free and open to all. Entry is on a first come first serve basis. For more information email

SATURDAY 15th May - The Emperor's Secret Garden

The Oxford Ethnographic Film Society presents the The Emperor's Secret Garden, a new film by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Andre Singer. The one-hour documentary explores the restoration undertaken over 5 years of the Private Lodge of Retirement in the 18th Century Qianlong Garden Complex in Beijing's Forbidden City. The restoration has been involved the collaboration between The Palace Museum, The World Monuments Fund, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation and The Prince's Charities Foundation (China). The screening will take place at 11:00am at the Pitt Rivers Museum. The event is free and open to everyone.

WEDNESDAY 19th May- Revisiting Dead Birds & Dani Sweet Potatoes

This afternoon at 2:00pm at the Pitt Rivers Museum, acclaimed anthropologist and filmmaker Professor Karl Heider (University of South Carolina) presents a variety of films spanning the length of his career including his work with the Dani of Papua New Guinea. Professor Heider has concentrated on psychological and visual anthropology in particular, his work focuses on emotions and sexuality. Take a look here to find out more about his research. The event is free and open to everyone.

WEDNESDAY 19th May-Barbara E. Ward Commemorative Lecture

Today at 5pm in the Nissan Lecture Theatre at St. Antony's College Oxford, Dr. Hausner will be giving the International Gender Studies Centre's Ward Commemorative Lecture. Dr. Hausner's lecture will focus on her current research on Nepali migrant religion in Britain and America as well as her book 'Wandering with Sadhus: Ascetics in the Hindu Himalayas'. For more information and booking details email:

THURSDAY 20th May- Forest Ecosystems

How can we restore forests the have been severely damaged by illegal logging and uncontrolled conversion to farmland? Dr. Mark Huxham and Dr. Glen Reynolds share their insights and the results of their pioneering research into the restoration of rainforests in Borneo and mangrove forests in Kenya. Join both Earthwatch scientists in this public lecture taking place at 7:00pm at the Royal Geographical Society. Tickets are free but donations are welcome. To find out more information visit this website.

FRIDAY May 21st- Art.Public. Tourism.

The Centre for Tourism and Cultural Change is hosting a one-day workshop in Leeds, exploring the exchange between artists, art managers the general public and tourism promoters. The workshop addresses questions such as: is what is good for art also good for tourism? What kind of publics do art and tourism produce? For a detailed programme and information about registration fees go to this website.

TUESDAY 25th May - Virtual Ethnography

Tonight at 6:30pm at the October Gallery in London, anthropologist Damien De Barra tells participants of his virtual ethnographic research spanning the length of 12 years looking specifically at 9/11 conspiracy theories. De Barra's research looks at the processes by which conspiracy theorists, their detractors, and the media have been engaged in cyber conversations of meaning-making brought about by the rise of social media. Both the conspiracy theorists and their debunkers claim to be telling 'the truth'. How do we know who is telling the truth? In what ways is the phrase being constructed and used by these various groups? Are these conversations just acts of speculation or is something bigger, deeper and more sinister at play? To RSVP email: Tickets are 7 pounds or 5 pounds concession.


A new book by anthropologist Annu Jalais called 'Forest of Tigers:People, Politics and Environment in the Sundarbans' has recently been published. The mangrove islands that comprise the Sundarbans area of the Bengal delta have unique ecosystems and are home to the Royal Bengal Tigers. One of the key questions the author addresses in this ethnography is what do tigers mean for the islanders of the Sundarbans? The author argues that far more than through caste, tribe or religion, the Sundarbans islanders articulate their social locations and interactions by reference to the non-human world- the forest and its terrifying protagonist, the man-eating tiger.

Another book that has recently been published is by Dr. Jens Kjaerulff called 'Internet and Change: An Anthropology of Knowledge and Flexible Work' . Undertaking research amongst 'teleworkers', people working via internet from their homes in rural Denmark, Kjaerullf's work analyzes the question of how internet use may be related to social and cultural change.