31 May 2021
Futures in/of Anthropology. Perspectives of a Public and Engaged Anthropology. Intro by Regina Römhild. Recorded 26.05.2021
This talk is drawn from a larger ethnographic study of a film production company that makes critical documentaries with the intention of generating progressive political activism (www.bravenewfilms.org). In this paper I look at the company from the point of view of anthropological and sociological research on social movements, seeing it as a part of what I call “social movement infrastructure.” I look ethnographically at their practical work in movement building, including their work on social media, on partnering with likeminded organizations, and on promoting grass-roots screenings of the films. I also ask about their orientation toward the future. I argue in part that infrastructure building and maintenance is itself inherently future oriented. Beyond that, however, I look at their representations about the future, in both their company “vision statement” and in their films. In the end we can see that a large part of their vision includes activism itself, as an ongoing part of a democratic future.