LABORATORY OF VISUAL ANTHROPOLOGY: Liminality – images, sounds, voices
In partnership with and organized by the Department of Ethnology in Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Art Studies in Albania, we are glad to be hosting again the Laboratory of Visual Anthropology workshop in DokuFest.
This year’s theme will be Liminality: images, sounds, voices.
Liminality is an anthropological notion which conceptualizes intermediary threshold positions in transitional or metamorphic social processes, where individuals stand at the threshold, where they are framed in a state of betwixt-and-betweenness of social identities. First developed by the French ethnologist Arnold Van Gennep and reproblematized and popularized six decades later by the English anthropologist Victor Turner, liminality became a fundamental theoretical concept in anthropological analyses of rituals and rites of passage (Rites of Passage).
As a process, the rite of passage implies three phases: separation, liminality and incorporation. A number of anthropological perspectives emphasize the idea of liminality as a momentum where social identities are suspended and individuals become socially invisible through often violent or traumatic processes, which reconstitute them as subjects. Individuals or collectives undergoing these rites of passage are involved in a process of becoming.
The academic imaginary on liminality has generally been attributed to so-called primitive societies and traditional social environments.
A contemporary generation of social and political anthropologists is challenging these conventional perspectives by investigating liminality in modern worlds (Thomassen, 2014), mirroring solid and/or liquid modalities of modernity. In the framework of the third edition of the Laboratory of Visual Anthropology (L.A.V.), a group of students and researchers will focus ethnographically on the border area between Albania and Kosovo, aiming at reflecting on and mapping forms of liminalities that shape modern life.
The main topics of exploration will be: the modern State as producer of liminalities; border areas as contexts of liminalities. The empirical material – images, sounds and voices – will be presented in a three-day workshop to be held during Dokufest in Prizren.