Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab

Foreign Parts

J.P. Sniadecki, Véréna Paravel
France, USA | OmeU
A hidden enclave in the shadow of the New York Mets’ new sta­di­um, the neigh­bor­hood of Wil­lets Point is an indus­tri­al zone fated for demo­li­tion. Filled with scrap­yards and auto … read more

Kale and Kale

Stephanie Spray
USA 2007 | 51 Min. | OmeU
The film explores the subtle every­day inter­ac­tions and rela­tion­ships among an uncle and nephew, both nick­named “Kale,” or “black one,” and their fam­i­lies in rural Nepal. The roles they play … read more

Creative Ethnography of Beings and Things

The films by Judith and David Mac­Dougall have had a deci­sive impact on the work of the Sen­so­ry Ethnog­ra­phy Lab. Lucien Cas­taing-Taylor, the founder and direc­tor of the SEL, is the editor of MacDougall’s Tran­scul­tur­al Cinema (1998) and wrote an intro­duc­tion which pro­vides a kind of survey of the state of audio­vi­su­al anthro­pol­o­gy at the turn of the mil­len­ni­um. With J.P. Sni­adec­ki, one of the most pro­duc­tive film­mak­ers to grad­u­ate from the lab, and David Mac­Dougall as our spe­cial guest at the freiburg film forum, we are excit­ed to have them togeth­er in a panel that will dis­cuss the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences between their respec­tive positions.

The panel will be chaired by Hen­ning Engelke, the author of a recent com­pre­hen­sive work on ethno­graph­ic film called Doku­men­tarfilm und Fotografie. Bild­strate­gien in der englis­chsprachi­gen Eth­nolo­gie (2007).

Hen­ning Engelke is a member of the Insti­tute of Art His­to­ry of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Frank­furt. Pub­li­ca­tions: The Art That Never Was. US-amerikanis­ch­er Exper­i­men­tal­film 1940 – 1960 (pend­ing); Film als Raumkun­st. Aktuelle Meth­o­d­en und his­torische Per­spek­tiv­en (co-editor, 2012).


USA 2009 | 115 Min. | OmU
Sheep – as far as the eye can see. The anthro­pol­o­gists and film­mak­ers Lucien Cas­taing-Taylor and Ilisa Bar­bash spent three sum­mers doc­u­ment­ing sheep farm­ing at one of the last family-owned … read more

The iron ministry

Hamid Jafari, J.P. Sniadecki
USA 2014 | 82 Min. | OmeU
P. Sni­adec­ki, who lived in China for a long time and trav­elled all over the coun­try by train, con­densed the results of these ethno­graph­ic excur­sions into a mul­ti­far­i­ous and col­or­ful … read more