Side Events 2023



Mariangela Mihai
Western Washington University & Georgetown University

THURSDAY, 04.05. | 6:30pm
Votiv Kino, Gr. Saal | TICKETS (Free Entry)

© Himadri Bhuyan

What does an intersectional feminist and queer methodology of care and love look like? What does it mean to situate knowledge in the contours of the bodies, voices, landscapes, and dream worlds that shape it? What are the possibilities and occlusions filmmaking has to offer to those of us whose political positionalities are entangled within an impenetrable echo-system of vulnerability and dis/empowerment? 

In this keynote lecture Mariangela Mihai explores what it means to centre marginalised experiences and voices through a filmmaking praxis that both embraces and strategically abandons the ethnographic method. It asks how ethnographers and filmmakers might orient themselves towards an ethics of methodological care that gravitates towards intimate, interpersonal, and more honest exchanges of knowledge and how such an approach can move towards non-performative allyship to reframe our interlocutors as co-creators through decolonising and horizontal axes of power. Following the ambiguities, the non-answers, the refusals, the overall messiness the ethnographic method brings along its unexpected moments of elucidation, Mihai ultimately asks: might ethnofiction save us, after all?

Keynote is held in English.


Mariangela Mihai is a multimodal ethnographer, transmedia storyteller, and filmmaker. Her work builds on decolonial, queer, and feminist sensory ethnography methods to understand Indigenous resistance, borderland disputes, and refugee issues on the India-Bangladesh-Myanmar-China borderlands and in “the Balkans.” Mariangela’s latest media projects include I Am A Whisper, My Dear, a collaborative ethnofiction film exploring LGBTQIA+ activism on the Southeast Asian borderlands; and, Anatomically, the heart is always incorrect, a multimedia play that uses autoethnography, poetry, animation, and digital storytelling to explore Eastern-European embodiment, politics, and heritage. Her media work has screened at international film festivals, universities, museums, and public and art institutions in Athens, Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Paris, New York, Yangon, New Orleans, Los Angeles, DC, and San Jose. Mariangela is co-founder of Ethnocine Film Collective and board member of The Society for Visual Anthropology. She is an Assistant Professor in Anthropology and WGSS at Western Washington University, currently completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Global Media & Film at Georgetown.