The advent of ourselves as others. Family films and anthropology | Gribaldo | Visual Ethnography
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The advent of ourselves as others. Family films and anthropology

Alessandra Gribaldo


The aim of this article is to propose an anthropology of a peculiar document that is the amateur family film. These intimate visual documents represent a privileged space for an anthropological approach, which has developed its discourse on the construction and projection of differences, similarities, and otherness. Starting from the definition of what “familiar” means in the family film, I will articulate anthropological thinking on footage with ethnographic practices, in search for convergences and distances, through the analysis of a family archive filmed by a woman of peasant origin, from the early 1960s to the 1980s, between Emilia Romagna, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. I suggest that these visual fragments, only partially filled with meaning by the words of those who made them, are spaces with the capacity to show -also through an undisciplined aesthetic- a different “us”, an invisible relatedness. It is a suspended projection, neither celebratory or predatory, of the places, objects and subjects encountered.


Visual Anthropology; Family Films; Kinship; Amateur Filmmaking; Ethnography

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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Edizioni Museo Pasqualino
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Salvo Leo

Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Palermo con numero di registrazione 1/2023