and masterclasses
21-26.09.2015, Warsaw

Workshops and masterclasses

The NAFA2015 festival and "Visual Anthropology and European Cultural Heritage" conference will be accompanied by workshops for specialists, aimed at exchange of experiences in transfer of knowledge on cultural heritage and diversity with the use of audiovisual media.
1. Curating Memories in Conflict: Exhibiting and Filming Poland’s Jewish Figurines / Erica Lehrer, Associate Professor, Concordia University, Montreal; Paulina Fiejdasz, filmmaker and journalist. [click here to learn more] 24.09.2015, 10 AM, The Warsaw's Praga Museum
2. Documentary Filmmaking and Participant Observation / Steef P.M. Meyknecht, documentary filmmaker, photographer, lecturer, Leiden University. [click here to learn more] 25.09.2015, 10 AM, The Warsaw's Praga Museum
3. It Is Normal to Be Different: 40 Years’ Experience of Tropenmuseum Junior in Amsterdam / Liesbet Ruben, curator, Tropenmuseum Junior. [click here to learn more] 23.09.2015, 10 AM, The Warsaw's Praga Museum

[cancelled] Visual Anthropology and Cultural Heritage / Frode Storaas, Professor, University Museum of Bergen. [click here to learn more]

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Curating Memories in Conflict: exhibiting and filming Poland’s Jewish figurines

American Anthropologist Erica Lehrer will discuss a participatory exhibition of Polish-made figurines depicting Jews that she curated in Kraków’s Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in summer 2013. The exhibit grew out of research for her book Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana U. Press 2013), and resulted in the edited catalog Lucky Jews: Poland’s Jewish Figurines/Na szczęście to Żyd: Polskie Figurki Żydów (Ha!art 2014) and the website In the broadest terms, the exhibition took up the question of how to deal with painfully disputed subject matter: How can one productively exhibit objects whose existence or the meanings one community promotes are deeply objectionable to another community? Lehrer will discuss Poland's Jewish figurines as "intersectional objects" that both bind and divide communities, and suggest their potential as catalysts for critical memory work that transcends the terms of today’s defensive public debate about Poland’s Jewish past. She will be joined by Polish film director Paulina Fiejdasz, who will discuss the films she made both for and about Lehrer’s exhibition, including Żyd na Śzczęście (A Jew for Luck), which was shown on TV Krakow in 2014. This project case study will give insight into the investments, challenges, and rewards of this kind of extended, participatory public scholarship project, combining transnational intercultural research, collaboration with individuals and institutions, and working in multiple media (exhibition, film, internet crowd-sourcing, popular and academic book publishing) and disciplines (ethnography, curating, filmmaking). Both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical challenges of the project will be discussed.

Erica Lehrer
Associate Professor, Concordia University, Montreal

She is a socio cultural anthropologist and curator. She is currently Associate Professor in the departments of History and Sociology Anthropology at Concordia University, Montreal, where she also holds a Canada Research Chair, and is the Founding Director of the Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence (CEREV). She is the author of Jewish Poland Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places (Indiana University Press 2013), and co editor of Curating Difficult Knowledge: Violent Pasts in Public Places (Palgrave-Macmillan 2010), Jewish Space in Contemporary Poland (Indiana University Press, forthcoming), and Curatorial Dreams: Critics Imagine Exhibitions (McGill-Queens, forthcoming). In summer 2013 she curated the exhibit Souvenir, Talisman, Toy at the Seweryn Udziela Ethnographic Museum in Krakow, and in 2014 published the accompanying book Lucky Jews and the online exhibit

Paulina Fiejdasz
filmmaker and journalist

She is a filmmaker and journalist. She earned a Master of Arts in Television Production and Documentary Cinematography from The Leon Schiller National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre; in Political Science and Journalism from Jagiellonian University; Bachelor of Arts in Jewish Culture from Jagiellonian University and a Postgraduate Certificate in Film Direction from Krakow School of Film and Audiovisual Communication. She has almost 10 years of experience in Journalism and Filmmaking. She has worked in Polish and international productions, among them: Kunthapura (Bollywood production), Dracula in 3D (Indian/ UK coproduction), Here I learnt to love (Israeli production), Znikniecie, Double Life. Since 2012 she has been writing and directing documentary TV series Shalom Poland for Polish National Television. In 2014 she directed documentary film A Jew for Luck.

Documentary Filmmaking and Participant Observation

Steef Meyknecht will discuss the role of anthropological research in documentary filmmaking process based on his experience while shooting Tobacco, Truths and Rummikub.

Steef Meyknecht
documentary filmmaker, photographer, lecturer, Leiden University

2013 Messages for the royal couple (photo exposition: ING bank Dappermarket, van Swindenstraat, Central Library Amsterdam, City Council East Amsterdam)
2012/2013 Northerners (photo exposition: City Hall Amsterdam North, City Hall Amsterdam Central)
2010 Tobacco Truths and Rummikub, video documentary
2005 A hospice in Amsterdam, video documentary (RAI award winning)

Tobacco, Truths and Rummikub, real. Steef Meyknecht, Holand 2010, 93'

It Is Normal to Be Different: 40 Years’ Experience of Tropenmuseum Junior in Amsterdam

I am Mumbai, dir. Florien van den Breemer, 30‘
Presentation: How we work? Presentation of the Tropenmuseum method.
Tropenmuseum Junior prepares exhibitions about nowadays cultures for children but also for their parents and teachers. It has a working method that can be described through 3 keywords: personal stories, hands-on objects and activities. Within this approach immaterial heritage is considered a part of the collection and the focus is on stories, poetry, dancing, music, food, events, production processes. Doing research is also a part of the method. Tropenmuseum Junior uses theatre techniques to create a narrative space, an immersive experience. The visitors are offered a non-museum-like experience, not a schoolish experience. Culture cannot be explained only through information. It has to be experienced.
Workshops on storytelling through objects. Task for participants: bring one object that evokes a story that is linked to a meaningful personal event. Be prepared for a 3-minutes presentation.

Liesbet Ruben
curator at Tropenmuseum Junior

Since 1979 Liesbet Ruben has been working for Tropenmuseum Junior in Amsterdam, a ethnographic children’s museum for children from 6 to 13 years old. Tropenmuseum Junior is part of the Tropenmuseum. As creative project leader Liesbet is responsible for the interpretative process from research to concept to realization and maintenance of high quality of the exhibition projects and the belonging materials such as the books and teachers manuals. She makes a book for every exhibition and six books were awarded. From her long experience in the self –developed working method Liesbet consults other museums world-wide.
With her team she developed twelve multidisciplinary interactive exhibitions about Brazil-Pernambuco, China, Mumbai, Iran, Ghana, Australian Aborigines, Bali, Senegal, Turkey, Morocco and Surinam. All means of communication are involved in these exhibitions, such as theatre, music, dance, cooking, hand-on collection, singing, techniques, innovating set-design and scenography.
She is curating and leading the artistic projects from research till the final details in the programs that offer the children a comprehensive experience in the exhibitions of Tropenmuseum junior.

DOTKNĄĆ I POCZUĆ TO ZROZUMIEĆ z Liesbet Ruben rozmawia Karolina Dudek, „Muzealnictwo”
  • Wystawa Chińska Qi. Warsztaty realizowane w ramach zwiedzania. [fot. Ivar Perl]

Visual Anthropology and Cultural Heritage

The workshop will discuss various ways of utilizing video camera in documentation and communication of material and immaterial cultural heritage.
Frode Storaas will screen clips from his films, excerpts that demonstrate people's concern on cultural heritage. A question raised will be on how the camera used for documentation may "freeze" one version of cultural expression and thus give a false representation of how cultural heritage can be part of people's life today. Anthropological method of research and filming deals with people of today and the workshop will point to the possibilities and the limitations of anthropological filmmaking in relation to a wide range of cultural expressions that can be labeled as heritage.

Frode Storaas research
Frode Storaas
Professor, University Museum of Bergen

He is a professor in visual anthropology at the University Museum of Bergen. As a filmmaker he has been involved in projects in Eastern and Southern Africa, in the Middle East, in Mexico and USA, in China and Nepal, on the Balkans and Greece and in Norway. Among his work are the award winning films Our Courtyard – Bai People of Southwestern China (59 min. 2006, made together with He Yuan Wang, Making Rain (57 min. 2007, made together with Liivo Niglas) on the Shona people of Mozambique and Fish On! (60 min. 2008 made together with Liivo Niglas and Diane Perlov), a film on Native Americans of Northern California. His latest films are The Go-Between, Afar of Ethiopia (38 min. 2014, together with Rolf Scott and Getachew Kassa) and Tama Gaun – the Copper Village (90 min. 2015, together with Dipesh Kharel) a film from Western Nepal. A theme conveyed in most of these projects relates to cultural heritage and how cultural traditions and ideas influence everyday life of people.