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About us

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The Visual Anthropology Meetings (JAV) are cultural-academic events organized by a group of anthropologists and independent documentary filmmakers. Since 2005 our annual events have taken place with support from the School of National Anthropology (ENAH), the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM), the Claustro de Sor Juana University (UCSJ) and in close collaboration with the International Documentary Film Festival of Mexico City (DocsDF).

These Meetings – with conferences, roundtable discussions, exhibitions of photography and visual arts and a sample of the best contemporary ethnographic documentaries – focus on promoting visual anthropology and the use of creative audiovisual media ranging from the social sciences, humanities and cultural studies.




Organizing Committee

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  • Antonio Zirión Pérez (Coordinación general)
  • Rodrigo Martínez Vargas (Producción)
  • Abeyamí Ortega Domínguez (Coordinación académica)
  • Valeria Pérez Vega (Coordinación de exposiciones)
  • Francisco Palma Lagunas (Coordinación de exposiciones)
  • Hélène Sorin (Coordinación Cine entre Culturas)
  • Hugo Chávez Carvajal (Comunicación web y coordinación de talleres)

Visual Anthropology

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There are innumerable possible links between anthropology and images. Images can be used as the object of study, a means of knowledge transfer, a way of keeping record or a research methodology, as a vehicle of knowledge for anthropological thought. Rather than as a specialization of sub-discipline of anthropology, we see visual anthropology as a paradigmatic methodology-theory for anthropology to tie in with other disciplines and areas, making it transdisciplinary.

Also, various art forms – such as cinema and photography – have taken anthropology as a source or motive of inspiration. Therefore visual anthropology products include everything from ethnographic film documentaries and anthropological photography, theoretical and academic studies on the image and visual culture, to other formats like multimedia, installation and performance art.

The Visual Anthropology Meetings aim to disseminate and reflect on all types of audiovisual materials that demonstrate an interest in knowing the different aspects and faces of human beings and their cultures. We differ from other photographic and documentary film events in that we have a strong belief that words and images are complementary media. Therefore we do not want simply to exhibit audiovisual products but stimulate proper reflection on the issues they raise.



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Our logo represents the meeting of the gaze of two characters sitting opposite one another. This image synthesizes our view of anthropology, that implies observing others but without forgetting that, at the same time, others are observing us. The logo also reflects one of JAV’s aims: to create a dialogue between equal partners, an intercultural encounter based on equality, respect and tolerance.




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