Visual Cultures in Southeast Europe: Globalization, Gender, Power and Resistance

10th Congress of the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA), University of Graz, September 24 – 26, 2020

Visual representation has been crucial in shaping the understanding about people, cultures, resistance, class, gender, ethnicity and more. In the digital era, also called the age of social media, and hypermediacy this has become even more evident as societies create and are confronted with images and multiplicities of representations ever more frequently. The overall visuality has economized the written text in order to be more efficient in reaching certain audiences. Visual cultures today have no place or space of origin; they are migrating globally and are understood and interpreted locally. Visual cultures, as practices and manifestations of life that are expressed through visual aspects and interpreted through individual and shared experiences, will be considered at this conference through special focus on globalization, power, gender and resistance. Therefore, “Visual cultures in SEE”, are unfolding in this tension between the local and the global.

Representation is an essential part of the process by which meaning is produced and exchanged between members of culture, through the use of language, of signs, and images which stand for, or represent things (Hall, 1995). Images are not neutral artefacts, simple documents captured by a lens (or an artist). Images are socially constructed within specific regimes of truth (Foucault, 1986) offering indications of the relationships of power and producing them in constant play. Visual representations in popular culture – an ever-expanding concept that looks to popular television programming, newspapers and magazines, books as well as digital services, video games, social media, art, music and sports and other everyday practices and things – are a prolific agent in mediating gender, race and class relations, among other things.

Cross-media aspects of visual cultures make it a large site for contested secular and religious views of identity and power. The region of South-eastern Europe is represented, at home and abroad, through its peripheral position to Europe, a long-term state of transition and high levels of contestation. Visual cultures have taken a larger role in social science and humanities reflecting the everyday lives of every one of us. Visual practices were and continue to be central to resistance. If visual cultures continue to flourish in the same manner as they have in the last hundred years, can we imagine what could future look like?

Visual anthropology isn’t only ethnographic films and photography, it is as MacDougall said „any of the expressive systems of human society that communicate meanings partially or primarily by visual means (MacDougall 1997, 283). From the field of visual anthropology, this conference encourages collaboration with other disciplines such as sociology, history, urbanism and architecture, art history, media, film and photography in order to draw upon issues of gender, resistance and power in the context of SEE.

Topics to consider but not to be limited to are:

  • Visual representation in humanities and social science, methodological and epistemological aspects of exploration and interpretation
  • Media pluralism, power and resistance
  • Popular culture, gender relations and resistance
  • Gender identity and representation
  • Visual Feminist and queer interventions
  • Architecture and urban design, the post socialist shift of power and resistance to it
  • Film, photography and other visual formats and platforms research in variety of disciplines
  • Post-socialist visual cultures
  • Visual culture and social movements
  • Visual aspects propaganda and resistance
  • Social media and resistance
  • Videogames and resistance
  • Art and resistance
  • Religion, visual culture and iconography
  • Visual culture and the Anthropocene
  • Visual ideologies and power
  • The body and visual symbols over time

Junior Scholar Award
The Junior Scholar Award will support the awarded junior scholars, to present their research work in the 10th InASEA conference, by covering their travel and accommodation expenses, and their InASEA membership fee for 2020. The applicant that will apply for this award should be a) a PhD student/candidate in the discipline of visual anthropology, working on a topic that fits the overall topic of the conference; b) PhD student/candidate at any University in SEE. Apart from the abstract for the 10th InASEA conference, the applicant should write a short biography (up to 500 words), describe her/his PhD project and highlight ways in which InASEA conference will be useful to her/his PhD project (up to 1000 words).

Women junior scholars are especially encouraged to apply.
The InASEA Reviewing Committee that will be reviewing the abstracts for the 10th InASEA Congress, will also bring the decision about the awarded junior scholars. The deadline to apply for the Junior Scholar Award is the same as the extended deadline to submit the abstract for the 10th InASEA Congress – 28th of February 2020, and should be sent to inasea2020@uni-graz.at. The notification for the Junior Scholar Award will be sent by 30th of April 2020, only to those who will be awarded.

Conference Site, Organization
The 10th International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA) congress will be held in Graz (Austria), in the campus of University of Graz.

The conference organizers will cover the accommodation costs for participants from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. This accommodation for these participants will be pre-arranged. Other participants will also be assisted in making hotel reservations. More information about accommodation will be published on the official website inasea.net in due time. Depending on the funding, some of the travel expenses may be funded for participants from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey.

Registration Fee InASEA members who have paid their dues for the last two years are exempt from the registration fee. Non-InASEA members and non-paying members will be asked to pay an on- site registration fee equivalent to 25 € for participants from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey; or 50 € for participants from all other countries.