to Dec 15

Anthropocene Transitions

The body-image in transgender activism: kalki subramaniam and the trans-image.
My paper investigates how the internet has enabled trans-media, transgender activist Kalki Subramaniam to conduct self-imaging practices that challenge the stability of categories gender normativity presupposes. It considers the trade-offs made as her body-image became a site of political "assemblage", at once vulnerable to abuse and open to care.

The Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference, Sydney University.

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2:00 PM14:00

The Trans-Image

Confirmation of Candidature Seminar: Digital Networks & The Trans Image

A multimodal ethnography of Transgender Activist Kalki Subramanim and The Sahodari Foundation in India.

Kalki Subramaniam is an elegant and articulate transgender activist and visual artist working in South India. She and her work are examples of the striking visibility of the transgender figure in recent popular culture that contributes to disrupting the organising principles of gender. Subramaniam forms part of a globalised emergent transgender activism employing images of the transgender body to shape a new politically charged “visuality”. This ‘trans’ movement represents a challenge to the politics of inclusion and exclusion that surrounds the normative function of gender categories; it invites a reformation of the ways we seek to contain identities. This research will participate in this process through an ethnographic examination of the image making practices at the centre of transgender activism. It will employ a multimodal, multi-sited ethnographic method to study Kalki Subramaniam and The Sahodari Foundation in India. From this vantage point it will consider how the potentiality of the ‘trans’ movement might also create new possibilities for the ontologies of the image.

Candidature Committee:
Primary Advisor:   Associate Professor Jennifer Deger
Secondary Advisor:   Professor Ton Otto
Independent Academic:  Dr Steven Campbell
Chair:   Professor Rosita Henr

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to Oct 13

Exhibition, Video Art & Performance

A Workshop exploring the possibilities and challenges of various forms of artistic and design interventions as (part of) ethnographic research methods, in particular: making exhibitions, producing collaborative video art, and performing various kinds of (re-)enactment.

Run by Ton Otto, Jennifer Deger and Rosita Henry at The Cairns Institute, James Cook University.

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to May 27

Camera as Cultural Critique

International Conference: Aarhus University & Moesgaard Museum.
Camera as Cultural Critique: Juxtaposition, Intervention and Co-creation.

In this conference we investigate the potential of visual media to convey and respond to existing as well as emerging social realities. We aim to contribute to an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that includes anthropology, philosophy and visual art. The visual media we wish to discuss range from photography and film to digital media, audio-visual installations and exhibitions.

Building on a tradition of critique in cultural anthropology, we pursue styles of knowing that reach beyond conventional text-based academic knowledge, using practice-led methods that develop their own forms of representation and criteria of validity and open new affinities to the world of art. We claim that concepts of critique are essential in this endeavour, providing the reflective grounding for our experiments and interventions in contexts and questions beyond their immediate sphere of impact and relevance.

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