Filming Emotion: The Place of Video in Anthropology

Authors

  • CATERINA PASQUALINO

    1. Caterina Pasqualino is an ethnologist currently in charge of research at the C.N.R.S., Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique. In 2000, she won a bronze prize and promotion from the Laboratoire des Institutions et des Organisations Sociales, Paris. Pasqualino was among the first to analyze Andalusian gypsy flamenco, usually considered only to be picturesque or of musicological interest, from the perspective of cultural anthropology. A documentary filmmaker, she most recently worked on questions of performance, voice and gesture (song and dance) and their relationship to identity and politics.
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Abstract

Anthropology has mostly dismissed data concerning emotions as insignificant, overly subjective and beyond the grasp of scientific inquiry. Focusing on the expressive life of Andalusian gypsies, this article examines ways in which digital video enables researchers to effectively record and analyze individual and collective emotions. Video is not merely a way of recording data. Visual data do not simply “illustrate” ideas from fieldwork. Instead, the very activity of producing a video is an act of research in itself—it is central to the practice of a performative anthropology.

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