Filming borders and generations in the Mediterranean space

Genoa, 13-18 March 2017

The School of Visual Sociology aims to be the beginning of a long-term educational path that has the objectives of contributing to the training of a new generation of researchers in social sciences through the transmission of technical skills, a habitus and a critical gaze. towards positivist epistemology, and that of incorporating critical ethnographic knowledge into the professions of the audiovisual, photography and social documentary.

Our society has long been defined as an “image society” and our existence is immersed in the visual media, surrounded by images created to capture our attention. Not only do we live in a reality made of images, but it is the images themselves that generate effects of reality, to manufacture reality and social worlds. Yet, to a large extent, the social sciences continue to work – in their way of researching, producing and communicating knowledge – on written words and texts. Only in recent times have we come to consider visual research methods as indispensable tools for investigating contemporary transformations and for spreading the knowledge produced by the social sciences.
The “Visual Sociology Laboratory” is a unique experience in Italy that has been experimenting with writing and practice of sociology for ten years starting from moving images

During the training program we will answer the questions raised by the use of a visual approach to sociology and ethnography. We will try to convey what it means to create a visual ethnography and to reflect on the effects that the use of this approach has on the co-construction and exploration of the research field, on the relationship with social actors, on the limits and potential of the relationship between language film, photography and social sciences. Participation in the school of visual storytelling professionals will allow us to address further questions: what is the added value that social research methods bring to the construction of a visual narrative, documentary or photographic portfolio? What contribution can ethnographic methods make to the diffusion of a visual narrative?


The program is divided into three sections: a theoretical, a practical and a third of critical visions.
Illustrating a research approach without linking it to an observation of the world risks becoming a sterile exercise; we have therefore chosen two central themes of global contemporaneity, borders and generations, which will animate common reflections. The first three days of the school will be dedicated to a theoretical and practical exploration of film and visual sociology, while the last two days will also see the participation of researchers and intellectuals of international importance who will discuss about these issues during a seminar on Mediterranean space.

The three sections will be:
Theoretical deconstructions (morning)
Workshop: “Making film and visual ethnography” (afternoon)
DocView “Borders and generations” (evening)

1. Theoretical de-constructions. The first section will be dedicated to theoretical and methodological insights on visual sociology, a path that will lead us to develop a new and oblique look on the social worlds, questioning the concepts of objectivity, point of view, distance, involvement, field and counterfield, expanding social research into the image and narration through images, looking for the ways of making visual ethnography. It will be curated by Emanuela Abbatecola, Sebastiano Benasso, Luca Queirolo Palmas, Federico Rahola, Luisa Stagi. The activities of this section are intertwined with the international seminar on borders and generations in the Mediterranean, whose speakers will participate in further training moments dedicated to school students.

2. Workshops. Making film and visual ethnographies.
The second section will have a workshop cut linked to the production of film and sociological objects on the theme of borders and generations. and It will be curated by a team of directors and researchers (José Gonzalez Morandi; Cristina Oddone; Lorenzo Navone; Massimo Cannarella; Marco Bertora; Carla Grippa). The students will deal with making a product of visual sociology concretely.

3. DocView. Borders and Generations. The third section will focus on the critical vision of some recent productions in the field of film anthropology and sociology, or documentary, which have explored the processes of social transformation in the southern Mediterranean.

Keynote speakers and lecturers

Emanuela Abbatecola (LSV – Università Genova), Santiago Alba Rico (Filosofo – Tunisi), Etienne Balibar (Université de Paris X – Nanterre), Marco Bertora (film-maker), Massimo Cannarella (Università Genova), José Gonzalez Morandi (film-maker), Carla Grippa (film-maker), Gerard Mauger (Centre Européen de Sociologie et de Science Politique), Hamza Meddeb (Istituto Universitario Europeo  – Firenze), Sandro Mezzadra (Università di Bologna), Hayet Moussa (Universitè Tunis el Manar), Lorenzo Navone (LSV – Università Genova), Cristina Oddone (LSV – Università Genova),  Luca Queirolo Palmas (LSV – Università Genova), Federico Rahola (LSV – Università Genova), Luisa Stagi (LSV – Università Genova), José Sanchez Garcia (University of Lleida), Francesco Vacchiano (Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon)

Corso Andrea Podestà, 2 - 16121 Genova (GE)

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