some of you may remember the film on Khanty fishing in the Yamal-Nenets Okrug, Siberia, Russia by an Estonian graduate, Janno Simm. That film “Autumn on Ob River” came out in 2004 as a masters work at the Tromso visual anthropology programme. Now it seems that this programme is under threat of being closed down altogether. I have signed a petition urging the administration to rethink that closure. It has been a really cool programme, and I think it would be a loss to see it discontinued.
Here is the call for support text:
Save Visual Anthropology (VCS) at the University of Tromsø!
The paradoxical reason, given that it is located in one of the wealthiest countries on earth and attracts students from all over the world, is financial difficulties.
• Over half of VCS students in Tromsø are from developing countries.
• Most of these students would have had no chance of obtaining a degree without the programme.
• Many of them are now using their skills and qualifications to develop research and ethnographic film/documentary networks in their own countries, a good example being former students in Cameroon and Mali.
Visual Anthropology in general, and the VCS programme at UiTromsø in particular, have shown how humanistic and filmmaking skills in parts of the world prone to conflicts and political instability are helping to nurse the emergence of a civil society that can safeguard human rights locally, regionally, and internationally.
And this is why we’re signing this petition here.
Please also post your picture to the VISUAL PETITION at Save Visual Anthropology on Facebook.