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Editorial notices


journal for qualitative research

ISSN 1211-5770
Registration code MK ČR: E 8364
Published by the civil association Casopis Biograf
Krompach 26, 47157
ICO: 27003213
Two issues per year.
Editor-in-chief: Barbora Spalová (

Text detail

Biograf 2021/73

Applied visual anthropology as a catalyst for social processes?

Milan Durňak

Applied visual anthropology as a catalyst for social processes?

The wider possibilities of using film, especially documentary film, for applied and interventionist purposes have long been known and visible in different historical periods and social, political and economic contexts. This article aims to familiarize the reader with selected aspects of applied visual anthropology, which seeks to make effective use of audiovisual resources and to adapt its methodological approaches in different societies and cultures. In many respects, there is a blending of the distinctly auteur approach typical of social documentary film with the collaborative practices more often used in anthropologically oriented projects. For this purpose, the author of the article compares and reflects on several interesting film projects from both foreign and domestic, Czech and Slovak scenes. He also draws on his own experience based on his participation in various audiovisual projects, including those related to engaged art. The text is a search for important factors that have the potential to influence social processes in a positive and negative light. In the article, the author asks to what extent participatory filmmaking can contribute to anthropological knowledge. In his intentions, it is important to reflect on situations where visual representations are transmitted and shared with people who stand in front of the camera. Finding ways to mediate experience at the threshold of visual communication and innovative technological aspects can lead to finding effective tools and strategies to deal with a variety of situations.


visual anthropology; film; intervention; participatory video; collaborative approach; participation.

Biograf themes:

Anthropology and ethnography; Visuality, visual media and research


DURŇAK, M. (2021): Aplikovaná vizuální antropologie jako katalyzátor sociálních procesů?[Applied visual anthropology as a catalyst for social processes?] Biograf (73-74): Available at [last access17. 04. 2024]

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