Symposium 'The Art and Science of Visual Research'


The event is open to scholars, students and practitioners from all universities, institutes, and organizations.

You can register for this symposium by using this link.​

During the coming autumn 2022, the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Center (ViDi), University of Antwerp, will host the first international symposium on The Art and Science of Visual Research (ASVR). This event constitutes the peak of the celebrations for the career of Prof. dr. Luc Pauwels, who will become an emeritus in October 2022.

Bringing together some of the most outstanding scholars in the field of visual studies and visual research, the symposium builds upon an integration of emerging and iconic voices of practitioners, methodologists, and theoreticians alike, all united around a common interest: the visual.

We will bring different disciplinary traditions and practices into dialogue: visual and digital culture, visual sociology and visual anthropology, science and technology studies, documentary photography, ethnographic film, and artificial intelligence. This is a unique opportunity for taking stock at what goes on in the world of visual research.

Confirmed Speakers

  • Richard Chalfen (Temple University, USA)
  • Marina Ciampi (Università Sapienza, Rome, IT)
  • Rebekah Cupitt (Birkbeck University, UK)
  • Paolo Favero (University of Antwerp, BE)
  • Annalisa Frisina (Università di Padova, IT)
  • John Grady (Wheaton College, USA)
  • Paul Hockings (editor Visual Anthropology, USA)
  • Allison Jablonko (co-founder Society for Visual Anthropology, AAA, USA)
  • Asko Lehmuskallio (University of Tampere, FI)
  • Tito Marci (Università Sapienza, Rome, IT)
  • Scott McQuire (Melbourne University, AUS)
  • Luc Pauwels (University of Antwerp)
  • Mattijs van de Port (University of Amsterdam, NL)
  • Katrien Pype (KU Leuven, BE)
  • Jon Wagner (University of California, USA)


Start of programme            Wednesday Oct 12th, 9:30 AM

End of programme             Friday Oct 14th,12:30 PM

The 3-day symposium will be preceded by a keynote by Prof. Paul Hockings (editor-in-chief of Visual Anthropology) on Tuesday 11 October 2022. Separate registration is required, please register here:

Wednesday 12 Oct 2022 







Symposium opening 

Introductory speech by Paolo Favero 

Opening lecture by Luc Pauwels: Looking Back and Looking Forward: Some Observations and Comments on the Art and Science of Visual Research 







Session 1 

Problematic Study of “Orphan” Photograph Albums  

Richard Chalfen 




Session 2 

Attending to cameras for understanding the work of images  

Asko Lehmuskallio 




Coffee break 



Session 3 

Reconstructing Shadow Conversations as a Method of Digital Ethnography  

Katrien Pype 



Thursday 13 Oct 2022 



Walk in & Coffee 



Session 4 

Visual images, platforms and urban infrastructure  

Scott McQuire 




Session 5 

Puzzles that keep me up at night  

John Grady  




Coffee break 



Session 6 

Fieldwork, Archives, Publications, and Feedback Loops  

Allison Jablonko 




Lunch break 



Session 7 

The spirit of the baroque: exploring baroque aesthetics for ethnographic filmmaking  

Mattijs van de Port 




Session 8 

Teaching Times Three   

Jon Wagner 




Coffee break 



Session 9 

How Teaching/Doing Visual Research from a Decolonial Perspective? Reflections from a visual exploration on the urban traces of Italian colonialism  

Annalisa Frisina  



Friday 14 Oct 2022 



Walk in & Coffee 



Session 10 

Out-of-place: images and narratives in times of war  

Tito Marci & Marina Ciampi  




Session 11 

Sympoetics: tracing human-AI creative processes with digital visual methods  

Rebekah Cupitt  





Coffee break 



Session 12 

Publications in visual anthropology  

Paul Hockings  




Closing remarks 


Event: Audio-visual-sensory Essays in a post-digital scenario

We'd like to invite you to the Webinar series on “Audio-visual-sensory Essays in a post-digital scenario”. Corresponding to the launch of a special issue of AnthroVision on the same topic this seminar series will develop along 3 sessions that you can find listed below, with their respective zoom links.  



Webinar 1 - 15th September 2022, 5PM - 6:30 PM  CET

General introduction - Paolo SH Favero and Angela Torresan (10 min)

On visual essays and communicating research visually online - Paolo SH Favero (10 minutes)

Robert Eagle - Multisensory ethnography through emplaced augmented reality (20 min)

Christine Moderbacher - Crafting Essays on Life: Reflections on multimodal approaches and renditions of anthropological research (20 min)

Q&A moderators and closing remarks: Paolo and Angela.




Meeting ID: 880 5932 8026

Passcode: 443513



Webinar 2 - 22th September 2022, 5PM - 6:30 PM CET


Introduction - Paolo (2 min) 

Shirley van de Maarel - In search of the unknown: the visual essay as a method of exploration, through an artistic and participatory process (20 min)

Joanna Sleigh - Visualizing Data Shadow Donation: Translating data shadows and their donation into an interactive visual form (20 min)

Q&A moderators and closing remarks: Michaela and Angela.




Meeting ID: 813 3887 4796

Passcode: 013357




Webinar 3 - 29nd September 2022, 5PM - 6:30 PM CET


Introduction - Angela (2 min)

Sabra Thorner - The Photograph as Archive, Reimagining the Archive, the Living Archive of Aboriginal Art (20 min)

Sandro Simon - 'Presence and Absence in Mollusc Lifeworlds and Visual Essays (20 min)

Talk on AnthroVision- Beate Engelbrecht (20 minutes)

Q&A moderators and closing remarks: Angela and Paolo 



Meeting ID: 850 8315 8932

Passcode: 126610


We hope to you all soon!

Paolo Favero and Angela Torresan

New ViDi collaboration with Sapienza - Università di Roma

On Friday 20 May 2022, ViDi formalized a new collaboration with the research group Unità di ricerca visuale of the Dipartimento di Scienze Sociali ed Economiche of Sapienza – University di Roma. The research partnership also covers a full-fledged Erasmus exchange to be used by MA students, PhD researchers and professors alike. 

Professors Luc Pauwels and Paolo Favero inaugurated the collaboration with a keynote on visual methods. 

ViDi's contact in Rome is Prof. Marina Ciampi, Head of the Visual Research Unit at the Department of Social Sciences and Economics, Sapienza University of Rome.

New EU-funded Project: Adana Cinema Heritage

‘Dialogue for Cinema as Cultural Heritage: Identification, Recognition and Community-based Inventory of Cinemas as the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Adana via Cross-border dialogue’, a project funded by EU CCU-II, is a joint academic and civil society project on cinema history in the Turkish city of Adana. Children and youngsters in Adana (and in a second order in Ghent and Antwerp) will be involved in data collection, analysis and valorization with regard to Adana’s rich cinema history. The project promises to be innovative in the field of film and cinema studies and media history at large, mainly because it brings in types of research and valorization which are profoundly rooted in civil society. Through surveys and oral histories on cinemagoing experiences in Adana, and archival work on Adana's cinema history, this project will result in academic outputs ranging from publications to workshops and conferences, as well as a digital platform for mapping cinemas and memories of cinemagoing in Adana as a form of intangible cinema heritage, but also cinema history tours, the training of youngsters as tour guides, and film screenings for local communities.

The project is a collaboration of the youth and children’s rights organization Flying Balloon Children and Youth Association, Çukurova University in Adana, Turkey, the University of Antwerp (Philippe Meers) and Ghent University (Daniel Biltereyst) in Belgium.

For updates of the project, see the Adana Cinema Heritage website.

See also:

SCMS Awards 2021: Honorable Mention for ViDi member Vesi Vuković in the Central/East/South European Cinemas Outstanding Essay Award

The Society of Cinema and Media Studies awarded an Honorable Mention to our voluntary ViDi member Vesi Vuković in the competition for Central/East/South European Cinemas Outstanding Essay Award. She was awarded the prize for the chapter, 'Treacherous Women: Representation of Female Characters as Traitors of the Nation in Partisan-themed Yugoslav New Films,' published in the volume 'Balkan Cinema and the Great Wars: Our Story' (Peter Lang, 2020). In her article, Vuković explores Yugoslav novi  film (New Film, 1961–1972) representations of female characters that did not conform to the norms of chastity or patriotism imposed on women during the Second World War. The article contributes to the Yugoslav film studies field by detecting the recurrence of castigation of female characters for active sexuality.

Symposium: 'On/Off Screen: The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America/Las otras historias del cine en América Latina'

Co-organized by ViDi, CIMS (UGent) and Tulane University, the online symposium 'On/Off Screen. The Other Histories of Cinema in Latin America/Las otras historias del cine en América Latina' will be held on 15 and 16 April 2021. The symposium explores practices of film distribution, exhibition and cinemagoing in Latin America. Over the past decade, the receiving end of the film chain, including patterns of film distribution and exhibition and the experiences of cinemagoers, has received increasing scholarly attention. Although this turn has made inroads beyond Eurocentric, Anglo-American limits, there is still a need to highlight other important cinematographic regions, especially Latin America. The symposium brings together scholars working in/on this domain from Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador, Cuba, and the US, etc to engage in conversations about film culture across the Western hemisphere. For more information and registration, please visit the symposium website.

'European Film Remakes', a new book co-edited by Gertjan Willems

ViDi member Gertjan Willems published a new book ‘European Film Remakes’ with Edinburgh University Press. Co-edited with Eduard Cuelenaere and Stijn Joye (Ghent University), this book is the first to discuss film remakes in a European context. Offering a variety of historical, contemporary, theoretical and empirical approaches to remakes, the book is illustrated by a wide range of case studies from across Europe, including films like A Bigger SplashOpen Your Eyes and Perfect Strangers. Although commonly understood as a typical Hollywood practice, this book demonstrates how film remakes are, and always have been, a significant part of the European film culture and industry. You can read the introduction to the book here.

'Image-Making-India: Visual Culture, Technology, Politics', a new book by Paolo Favero

Paolo Favero's new book 'Image-Making-India' explores the evolving meaning of images in a digital landscape from the vantage point of contemporary India. Building upon long-term ethnographic research among image-makers in Delhi, Mumbai and other Indian cities, the author interrogates the dialogue between visual culture, technology and changing notions of political participation. The book explores selected artistic experiences in documentary and fiction film, photography, contemporary art and digital curation that have in common a desire to engage with images as tools for social intervention. These experiences reveal images’ capacity not only to narrate and represent but also to perform, do and affect. Particular attention is devoted to the 'digital', a critical landscape that offers an opportunity to re-examine the significance of images and visual culture in a rapidly changing India. This volume will be of particular interest to scholars of visual and digital anthropology and cultures as well as South Asian studies.

Launch of the Cinema Belgica platform at Film Fest Gent 2020

On Thursday 15 October 2020 at Film Fest Ghent, Ghent University, the University of Antwerp and the University of Amsterdam launch the new open-access data platform Cinema Belgica and the CINECOS database. The platform facilitates the understanding, exploration and analysis of cinema as dominant public medium and as popular culture. In addition to an encyclopedic wealth of information regarding the production, distribution, exhibition, programming and censoring of films in Belgium since 1896, Cinema Belgica also offers advanced research possibilities that allow to study Belgian cinema history.

'De verbeelding van de leeuw,' a new book by Gertjan Willems

ViDi member Gertjan Willems edited a book together with Bruno De Wever (dept. of History, Ghent University) on media and nation-building in Flanders. The Dutch-language book ‘De verbeelding van de leeuw: Een geschiedenis van media en natievorming in Vlaanderen’ comprises 11 chapters and brings together for the first time media and communication scholars, historians, political scientists, linguists, and literature scholars to tell an interdisciplinary story about the role of media in Flemish nation-building.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content). For more information and to purchase the book, please visit the publisher’s website:

Lumumba in the Arts, a new edited volume by Matthias De Groof

Lumumba in the Arts (2020), a new volume edited by Matthias De Groof is out now.

"Art reminds us of the impossibility of his death and leaves us horrified every time one remembers the tragedy.", Matthias De Groof, editor 'Lumumba in the Arts'

Lumumba as a symbol of decolonisation and as an icon in the arts

It is no coincidence that a historical figure such as Patrice Emery Lumumba, independent Congo’s first prime minister, who was killed in 1961, has lived in the realm of the cultural imaginary and occupied an afterlife in the arts. After all, his project remained unfinished and his corpse unburied. The figure of Lumumba has been imagined through painting, photography, cinema, poetry, literature, theatre, music, sculpture, fashion, cartoons and stamps, and also through historiography and in public space. No art form has been able to escape and remain indifferent to Lumumba. Artists observe the memory and the unresolved suffering that inscribed itself both upon Lumumba’s body and within the history of Congo. If Lumumba – as an icon – lives on today, it is because the need for decolonisation does as well.

Rather than seeking to unravel the truth of actual events surrounding the historical Lumumba, this book engages with his representations. What is more, it considers every historiography as inherently embedded in iconography. Film scholars, art critics, historians, philosophers, and anthropologists discuss the rich iconographic heritage inspired by Lumumba. Furthermore, Lumumba in the Arts offers unique testimonies by a number of artists who have contributed to Lumumba's polymorphic iconography, such as Marlene Dumas, Luc Tuymans, Raoul Peck, and Tshibumba Kanda Matulu, and includes contributions by such highly acclaimed scholars as Johannes Fabian, Bogumil Jewsiewicky, and Elikia M’Bokolo.

Contributors: Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda (artist), Karen Bouwer (University of San Francisco), Véronique Bragard (UCLouvain), Piet Defraeye (University of Alberta), Matthias De Groof (scholar/filmmaker), Isabelle de Rezende (independent scholar), Marlene Dumas (artist), Johannes Fabian (em., University of Amsterdam), Rosario Giordano (Università della Calabria), Idesbald Goddeeris (KU Leuven), Gert Huskens (ULB), Robbert Jacobs (artist), Bogumil Jewsiewicki (em., Université Laval), Tshibumba Kanda Matulu (artist), Elikia M’Bokolo (EHESS), Christopher L. Miller (Yale University), Pedro Monaville (NYU), Raoul Peck (artist), Pierre Petit (ULB), Mark Sealy (Autograph ABP), Julien Truddaïu (CEC), Léon Tsambu (University of Kinshasa), Jean Omasombo Tshonda (Africa Museum), Luc Tuymans (artist), Mathieu Zana Etambala (AfricaMuseum)

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

For more information and to purchase the book, visit the publication's website.

The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods (second edition, revised and expanded)

The second, thoroughly revised and expanded, edition of The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods (2019) by Luc Pauwels and Dawn Mannay (Cardiff University) presents a wide-ranging exploration and overview of the field today. As in its first edition, the Handbook does not aim to present a consistent view or voice, but rather to exemplify diversity and contradictions in perspectives and techniques. The selection of chapters from the first edition have been fully updated to reflect current developments. New chapters to the second edition cover key topics including picture-sorting techniques, creative methods using artefacts, visual framing analysis, therapeutic uses of images, and various emerging digital technologies and online practices. At the core of all contributions are theoretical and methodological debates about the meanings and study of the visual, presented in vibrant accounts of research design, analytical techniques, fieldwork encounters and data presentation.

This handbook presents a unique survey of the discipline that will be essential reading for scholars and students across the social and behavioural sciences, arts and humanities, and far beyond these disciplinary boundaries.

The Handbook is organized into seven main sections:


The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History (2019)

The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History (2019) by Daniel Biltereyst, Richard Maltby and Philippe Meers presents the most recent approaches and methods in the study of the social experience of cinema, from its origins in vaudeville and traveling exhibitions to the multiplexes of today.

Exploring its history from the perspective of the cinemagoer, the study of new cinema history examines the circulation and consumption of cinema, the political and legal structures that underpinned its activities, the place that it occupied in the lives of its audiences and the traces that it left in their memories. Using a broad range of methods from the statistical analyses of box office economics to ethnography, oral history, and memory studies, this approach has brought about an undisputable change in how we study cinema, and the questions we ask about its history. This companion examines the place, space, and practices of film exhibition and programming; the questions of gender and ethnicity within the cinematic experience; and the ways in which audiences gave meaning to cinemagoing practices, specific films, stars, and venues, and its operation as a site of social and cultural exchange from Detroit and Laredo to Bandung and Chennai. Contributors demonstrate how the digitization of source materials and the use of digital research tools have enabled them to map previously unexplored aspects of cinema’s business and social history and undertake comparative analysis of the diversity of the social experience of cinema across regional, national, and continental boundaries.

With contributions from leading scholars in the field, The Routledge Companion to New Cinema History enlarges and refines our understanding of cinema’s place in the social history of the twentieth century.

The Present Image, a new book by Paolo Favero

A new book by Paolo FaveroThe Present Image: Visible Stories in a Digital Habitat (2018, Palgrave Macmillan) is out now.

The Present Image explores the world of images in the contemporary, increasingly digitized, habitats of the world. Moving across a theoretical spectrum that brings visual and digital culture in touch with anthropology, political theory, phenomenology and art-history, and based on the author’s practice-based involvement with images, the book argues against the idea of the digital as a revolution in the world of images. “Present images” are the result of a dialectic between the material and the immaterial, the manual and the mechanical, the visible and the audible, the old and the new. Offering an analysis containing simultaneously elements of timeliness and timelessness, the book addressed practices such as VR and 360 degrees, iDocs and action cameras in a dialogue with classical art, religious iconography, early photography and contemporary art. In the final chapter the book explores the significance of images and image-making in the context of dying, mourning and living.

Eva Theunissen at UWE Bristol

ViDi-member Eva Theunissen was granted the ActUA-Prijs 2018. This prize is awarded to master’s students and PhD students who aspire a research stay abroad. Eva, who holds an FWO-funded PhD scholarship, will be hosted for a period of three months at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, part of the University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol.

Matthias De Groof talks about Decolonization at Tampere Film Festival

On Thursday, March 8 at 4pm, the Kone Foundation will host a talk session about decolonisation, which can be defined as the dismantlement of visibile and invisibile power structures, at Tampere after the “International Competition 3” screening. Decolonisation is a joint theme of the short films to be seen in the screening.

After the film there will be a discussion about decolonisation with a researcher and two film directors. Matthias de Groof is a research fellow in the University of Helsinki and has strong interest in film theory and film making, Congo and postcolonialism. Director Libby Hakaraia is the founder of Maoriland Film festival in New Zealand and has her film “The lawnmower men of Kapu” at the Tampere Film Festival. The discussion also includes director Daniel Gräbner, whose documentary “Das Projekt” is presented at this screening. They will be interviewed by journalist Monica Gathuo. She is a producer at Ruskeat Tytöt – the first ever media for and by brown people in Finland – and she also works in the ARMA project, funded by Kone Foundation. ARMA combines theory and practice to develop creative uses of digital media, pedagogy and arts as means to promote anti-racism knowledge and values in Finland.

For more info, click here.

Matthias De Groof at Helsinki University

Vidi-Member Matthias De Groof was granted a Postdoctoral fellowship in the Arts at the Collegium for Advanced Studies at one of the top 1 % of world's research universities: Helsinki University.

Ali Baharlou awarded at Tehran International Short Film Festival

PhD in the Arts student Ali Baharlou (supervisors Philippe Meers ViDi, UA and Tom De Smedt EMRG, Sint-Lucas Antwerp) has won the Best Religion Short Film at Tehran International Short Film Festival.

For more info and all winners, click here.

Ethnoally listed by MIT's DocuBase

Ethnoally, the digital tool and mobile application that enables researchers to create and organize multimodal field notes for ethnographic studies is now listed by MIT's DocuBase. Ethnoally has been created at ViDi in collaboration with DeustoTech.

Ethnoally is a digital research tool designed for coordinating those multiple acts of “serendipitous ethnography” that can be enacted today in many variable contexts with the help pf smartphones. It was originally ideated by Paolo S. H. Favero with funding from FWO and realized by Alfonso Bahillo (DeustoTech Fundación - University of Deusto). Eva Theunissen has worked on user experience and conducted the first rounds of structured ethnographic testing and London-based visual artist Ali Zaidi had also worked on user experience and developed some aesthetic features.

Launch 'Cinema City Cultures' website

The Cinema City Cultures website, which is now being launched, is linked to a network of collaborative research projects examining and questioning the interconnection between cinema, modernity and urbanity. The network brings together researchers who deal with this topic by using empirical research on urban cinematic practices and experiences. Inspired by a new cinema history approach, projects within the Cinema City Cultures network concentrate on cinematic place and space, programming and audience experience. Bringing together projects from different countries and continents, the network fosters inter- and multidisciplinarity, international collaborative and comparative research, as well as the use of new digital research approaches. Cinema City Cultures is an initiative by Daniel Biltereyst and Philippe Meers. For an overview of projects and researchers, see here.

One-Day Workshop: Crafting the Feature of the Visual

On Friday 13th of September 2019, Paolo SH Favero (University of Antwerp) and Janine Prins (University of Leuven) will be hosting a workshop on the future of the visual essay in collaboration with VANEASA (the visual anthropology network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA) and its journal AnthroVision. The workshop will take place in room M002 at De Meermine, Sint-Jacobsstraat 2, 2000 Antwerpen.

The aim is to explore the way in which new (mainly digital) technologies are contributing to the creation of new ways for publishing social scientific research.

The workshop will focus on creative contributions from early career scholars that can help us identify new ways of thinking about and making visual essays (videoclips, online archives, smartphone applications, virtual, mixed and augmented reality, etc.)

The selected papers will receive feedback from senior scholars in the area. Among them Peter I. Crawford (Univ. of Tromsö), Beate Engelbrecht (Univ. of Göttingen), Michaela Schäuble (Univ. of Bern) Mattijs van de Port (Univ. of Amsterdam), Carolina Cambre (Concordia University), Luc Pauwels (University of Antwerp), Janine Prins (University of Leuven) and Paolo SH Favero (University of Antwerp).

The workshop will develop along 8 presentations distributed over the course of the day.


8:30 - 9:00 - introduction (Paolo SH Favero and Janine Prins)

9:00 to 10:30 - Anne Chahine presents (Janine Prins discussant)
                        Christine Moderbacher presents(Peter Crawford discussant)

10:30 - 11:00 - coffee break

11:00 - 12:30 - Felice Kertudo presents (Caroline Cambre discussant)
​                        Joanna Sleigh presents (Luc Pauwels discussant)

12:30 - 13:30 - lunch break

13:30 - 15:00 - Rob Eagle presents (Paolo SH Favero discussant)
​                        Sabra Thorner presents (Beate Engelbrecht discussant)

15:00 - 15:30 - coffee break

15:30 - 17:00 - Sandro Simon presents (Mattijs van de Port discussant)
​                        Shirley van der Maarel presents (Giulia Battaglia discussant)

17:00 - 18:00 - group discussion and closing remarks 

For more information send and e-mail to Paolo SH Favero: