Master's / Graduate Course, Lesvos 201915 ECTS credits, Lesvos 28 July - 11 August 2019.
Application deadline: 1 April 2019
In collaboration with international artists and researchers, The Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Agder, Norway, offers a Master's (graduate) course in Arts-based Ethnography, inviting students from music, visual and performance arts, anthropology, sociology and related fields. The practical part of this course will take place in the Greek island of Lesvos from 28 July to 11 August 2019. The 'home base' will be UiA's Metochi Study Centrewww.uia.no/en/centres-and-networks/metochi, encouraging participant projects that may approach different sites, institutions or networks from a starting point in the local community of Kalloni.
The term 'Arts-based ethnography' envisions a multi-faceted working space between artistic practice and ethnographic research. The idea is inspired by how, as an example, site-related artistic practice often moves towards ethnographic or anthropological research, and ethnographic researchers are also moving toward contemporary artistic practice through forms of expression, applied scholarship or activism (see attached reading list for further details).
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, explaining why they wish to be considered, and add a preliminary idea/sketch of the project they would like to carry out in relation to Lesvos (max 1000 words).
"The initial deadline was 8 March 2019. An extended deadline is 1 April. Until then new applicants will be enrolled on a continous basis".
The application must include:
Date of birth
Documentation of relevant graduate study programme enrolment (i.e. where this course may fit in) and/ or relevant background (completed BA programme). "Relevance" means relating to arts and/or ethnography.
e-mail address & mobile phone number
A letter of motivation with a short sketch of project ideas or interests (i.e. themes to explore, or modes of working)
The successful applicants are expected to cover their own travel costs to Lesvos, and a small tuition fee to UiA (NoK 660). Teaching, supervision, accommodation and meals on the course site in Lesvos will be provided for participating students. The students may also need to cover fieldwork transportation (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 we will suggest local contacts as a starting point for an artistic-ethnographic journey. Metochi study centre will be available to help students establish further contacts when necessary.
Preparations and follow-up
Before and after the stay in Lesvos, there will be online course activities with presentations, supervision and assignments, with students also presenting their project ideas for each other in a blog. There will also be a kick-off gathering in Kristiansand, Norway, beginning April, with both on-site participants and online presentations, and documentation for participants who are not able to attend (details and date(s) will be sent to all applicants later). The course credits will be awarded on the final exhibition and presentation which will take place in September 2019 (see attached course description for details).
More on contents and background
We imagine the two weeks in Lesvos as a period of fieldwork, encounters with local people, artistic production, mentoring, discussions, lectures and workshops, as the students develop 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) categorisation of what ‘site’ may represent in site-specific art, from the phenomenological (such as places, buildings, landscapes, sounds), to the social and institutional (events, places to meet and exchange, social practice, performance) 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 the everyday of people, institutions and places.
In terms of output and dissemination, the title ‘Arts-based Ethnography’ further 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 outside the walls of academia.
Please also see the attached formal course description.
The people who will facilitate the course will include: