As a social and visual anthropologist there are many things that fascinate me about contact improvisation, that I experience in my dancing but also seek to connect to the interests that sustain my passion for anthropology and its potential to contribute to social change.
In the process of trying to find the concepts and areas of theorisation that I feel can do most justice to CI and its practitioners I have settled on intersubjectivity as the key concept and debates about the value of collaborative and ‘shared anthropology’ in visual anthropology as the key area. I have been particularly inspired by working with Zemirah Moffat and learning of her use of feedback and her taking Rouch’s inspiration for her text and film doctoral thesis called Mirror, Mirror. Teaching visual anthropology for five years has provided a great opportunity to explore the points at which the sub-discipline could enter into more productive dialogue with social and medical anthropological concern on the areas of most interests to practitioners of the form.
I will be writing about and exploring these connection in the coming months and years.
I am also passionate about arguing that our documentary constitutes a valid research output in its own right, particularly as it’s form and focus is heavily influenced by the philosophy and practice of contact improvisation. I see the documentary as supporting the growing movement for a more publically and engaged anthropology.
In this theme I invite contributions and comments on the general theme of anthropology and contact improvisation.
To contribute to this theme please go to our feedback section.