Mediating Mobility: Visual Anthropology in the Age of Migration

Mediating Mobility: Visual Anthropology in the Age of Migration

by Steffen Köhn

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Images have become an integral part of the political regulation of migration: they help produce categories of legality versus illegality, foster stereotypes, and mobilize political convictions. Yet how are we to understand the relationship between these images and the political in the discourse surrounding migration? How can we, as anthropologists, migration scholars, or documentary filmmakers visually represent people who are excluded from political representation? And how can such visual representations gain political momentum?

This volume not only considers the images that circulate with reference to migrants or draw attention to those that accompany, show, or conceal them. The book explores the phenomena of migration with the help of images. It offers an in-depth analysis of the documentary approaches of Ursula Biemann, Renzo Martens, Bouchra Khalili, Silvain George, Raphael Cuomo and Maria Iorio, Alex Rivera, and Rania Stepha, which evoke the particularities of migrant lifeworlds and examine urgent questions regarding the interrelations between politics and poetics, mobility and mediation, and the ethics of probability and possibility. The author also discusses his own cinematic practice in the making of Tell Me When… (2011), A Tale of Two Islands (2012), and Intimate Distance (2015), a trilogy of films that explore the potential to communicate the bodily, spatial, and temporal dimensions of the experience of migration.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231850940
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Series: Nonfictions
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 208
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Steffen Köhn is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and postdoctoral researcher in visual and media anthropology at Freie Universität Berlin.
Reader #1- Steffen Köhn is a Professor and Program Coordinator for the Visual and Media Anthropology Master’s program at Freie Universität Berlin. He is the author of Mediating Mobility: Visual Anthropology and the Age of Migration (Wallflower, 2016) and co-editor of Digital Environments: Ethnographic Perspectives Across Global Online and Offline Spaces (Transcript, 2017).

Table of Contents

Introduction: Anthropology, Migration and the Moving Image
1. Migrant In/visibility
2. Migrant Experience
3. Migratory Spaces
4. Migratory Times
Conclusion: Possibilities

What People are Saying About This

Faye Ginsburg

A refreshing and important anthropological analysis of the experience of migration and its visual representations that circulate around the globe far more easily than the vulnerable migrants fleeing harrowing conditions. Kohn – a filmmaker himself – provides a welcome critique of the flood of imagery around us, as well as the exciting innovative documentary works that offer new ways to think about both the experience of migration and the possibilities of ethnographic/documentary film through this complex lens.

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