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Master's / Graduate course in Arts-based ethnography, Lesvos

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Master's / Graduate course in Arts-based ethnography
Lesvos 17 June - 1 July 2018.
15 ECTS credits,
Application date: 15 April

In collaboration with international artists and researchers, Faculty of fine arts, University of Agder, Norway, offers a Master's (graduate) course in Arts-based ethnography summer 2018. The practical part of this course will take place in the Greek island of Lesvos from 17 June to 1 July 2018. The 'home base' will be UiA's study centre Metochi: https://www.uia.no/en/centres-and-networks/metochi , yet with participant projects that may approach different sites, institutions or networks across the island.

The term 'Arts-based ethnography' is coined to envision a multi-faceted working space between artistic practice and ethnographic research. Inspiring this idea is how, as an example, site-related artistic practice often moves towards ethnographic or anthropological research, while ethnographic researchers are also moving toward contemporary artistic practice through forms of expression, applied scholarship or activism (see attached reading list for more).

Before and after the stay in Lesvos, there will be online course activities with presentations, supervision and assignments. There will also be a kick-off gathering in Kristiansand, Norway, 27-28 April, with both on-site participants and online documentation and live presentations being made available for international participants. Final exam will be an exhibition & presentation September 2018 (see attached study plan for details).

Application deadline is 8 April 2018

(Since this might be a short notice for some, we will consider applicants after this date IF the course is not fully booked)

Please send any questions to tormod.w.anundsen@uia.no

Application procedure:
We wish to recruit highly motivated and self-driven students for this course, and the number of participants is limited. Applicants are required to include a letter of motivation with their application, commenting on why they apply, and add a preliminary sketch of the project they would like to carry out in relation to Lesvos (max 1000 words).

Please submit application and letter of motivation to ole.t.grimsli@uia.no by 8 April. Please cc: tormod.w.anundsen@uia.no

The application must include:
1. Full name
2. Address
3. Date of birth
4. Documentation of relevant graduate study programme enrollment (i.e. where this course may fit in) and / or relevant background (completed BA programme). "Relevance" means relating to arts and/or ethnography.
5. e-mail address & mobile phone number
6. A letter of motivation with a short project sketch / outline

Practical information
The students cover their own travel to Lesvos, and a small tuition fee to UiA (NoK 660). Teaching and supervision, accommodation and meals on the course site in Lesvos are provided for participating students. The students may also need to cover some fieldwork transportation if they exceed the basic budget (i.e. depending on their choice of project), and expenses for own choice of artistic materials or documentation.

Student research projects are encouraged to address and collaborate with local sites, institutions, people and narratives of the island, and our local partners will be available to help students establish contacts when necessary.

More on contents and background:
We imagine the two weeks in Lesvos as a period of fieldwork, artistic production, mentoring, discussions, lectures and workshops, laying a base for different types of site-related work – individually or in groups – that demonstrates the potentiality of the combined practices of art and research, while also dealing respectfully with the contexts that one encounters.

From the approach of artistic practice, we are considering Miwon Kwon’s (2002) categorization of what ‘site’ may represent in site-specific art, from the phenomenological (such as places, buildings, landscapes), to the social and institutional (events, places to meet and exchange, social practice) and the discursive (stories, media events, ideas). Hosting such a course in Lesvos will, we envision, open up for all these dimensions.

In recent years Lesvos has become the main transitional route for refugees coming to Europe, and has mainly been represented in the media as linked to the refugee crisis, and is, as such, already saturated in images from the global media. With arts-based ethnography we aim to develop alternative approaches to representation, participation and outcome of ethnographic research, and to explore how these approaches may enable different ways of (Re)presenting others, that is, enter new conversations about the site itself - through people, institutions and places.

In terms of output and dissemination, inviting to arts-based ethnography implies that student research may lead to producing films, podcasts, soundscapes, performative or artistic works, webpages, public scholarship or social action. We are also interested in how arts-based ethnography can be used as a vehicle to present complex issues of representation to audiences within and outside the walls of academia.

Further information:
Please also see the attached formal course description: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t27e0znpe49j2cw/180228B_MA_lesvos_course_FB.pdf?dl=0

The people who will facilitate the course will include:
- Hydar Dewachi (artist from London & Iraq) http://www.hydardewachi.com/
- Jennie Gubner, Indiana University Bloomington, US (music & film ethnography)
- Panopoulos Panayiotis (Anthropologist & artist, University of the Aegean, Lesvos)
- Tormod W. Anundsen, University of Agder (connections between ethnographic & artistic research)

This announcement will be updated