Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Diary for 22nd November - 28th November 2007

THURSDAY 22ND NOVEMBER - Location, location, location

This evening I'm going down to Rivington Place to the London is the Place for me exhibition that I mentioned on the blog a few weeks ago. It looks at issues of migration through photography and the moving image and how the 'cultural landscape' shapes our understanding of 'home'. You can view photographs from the collection here. This evening artist Alfredo Jaar and academic Paul Gilroy will be in conversation discussing the idea of a sense of place. Gilroy pops up on many undergraduate anthropology reading lists for his work on racism, nationalism and ethnicity. Places are running out fast, so to reserve a place you will need to email - the event begins at 19.00.

FRIDAY 23RD NOVEMBER - Talk on the Tyne

On Friday I'm attending a conference in Newcastle reflecting on the events held over the past year to commemorate the ending of slavery (see here for more information on these events). It is being run over two days by the university's Institute for Arts, Social Sciences & Humanities, and several anthropologists will be amongst the speakers. Also, on Friday night there's a reception at the Laing Art Gallery, including the exhibition of Benin artist Romauld Hazoume's Bouche du Roi, which has featured on this blog in the past. You can register online here - a single day ticket for students costs £15, and the full programme is viewable on their website if you want to check which session you are most interested in.

SATURDAY 24TH NOVEMBER - Voices from the Valleys

This afternoon I'm going to tune into BBC Radio Wales on the internet to listen to the first episode of Wales Observed, a four part series drawing on the archives of the Mass Observations team, who have been documenting daily life in Britain for seventy years. The founders of Mass Observation aimed to provide an 'anthropology of ourselves' - and this programme kicks off with one woman's memories of life in West Cross in 1937. Also this week, Massobs researcher Tanya Evans will be speaking about her research into lone motherhood on Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Again, you can listen into the programme here.

SUNDAY 25TH NOVEMBER - Drums & spears in Oxford

Today I'm heading up to the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford for a celebration weekend, in recognition of the new extension that the museum has just opened. Starting at 13.00, there's a series of interactive activities to enjoy, including a session on weapons from around the world and the opportunity to play the Javanese Gamelan. There's also several fascinating talks on Sunday afternoon, details of which you can view here. The events last until about 16.00 each day, and admission is FREE.

MONDAY 26TH NOVEMBER - Moses comes to Margate

To start the week, I'm going straight out to buy a DVD released today called Exodus, directed by Penny Woolcock. It was screened on Channel 4 last week, and features the local population of Margate portraying a modern version of the Old Testament story of Moses and Israel. The new version concentrates on issues of migration and segregation, as Moses ultimately leads a group of immigrants out of their walled enclave and back into mainstream society. Penny Woolcock is renowned for her documentaries made with people at the margins of society, and has often said that anthropology is very influential in the ways she makes films. In fact, she gave the 2004 Forman Lecture at the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology on that very topic.

TUESDAY 27TH NOVEMBER - Voyages into the Unknown

Today I'm heading along to the latest documentary festival to come to these fine shores - Voyages - ten days of European films ranging from Hungary to Wales to Cyprus. The films will be showing at various venues in London, principally the Cine Lumiere, and the directors will be present at the majority of screenings to answer questions. Tonight, I'm going to watch Back to Normandy, a French documentary about the making of a fictional film by local people 30 years ago, that was in turn about a murder over 100 years ago. The film starts at 19.00 at the Cine Lumiere. You can read more about the whole programme, which aims to promote cultural understanding and diversity, on the Pocketvisions website.

WEDNESDAY 28TH NOVEMBER - Suicide and society

On Wednesday I'm going to tune back into Radio 4 and listen again to Thinking Allowed from last week, which featured academic James Dingley discussing a paper he has just written for a conference on suicide bombers in the Middle East. He argues that the writings of Emile Durkheim, a French academic pivotal in the formation of anthropology around the beginning of the 20th century, can be useful for understanding the mindset of suicide bombers. Drawing on Durkheim's Suicide, Dingley describes how suicide bombing perhaps occurs because of social forces, not just as a result of individual psychological breakdown.

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