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Watch the best films of Visual Ethnography alumni on Alexander Street Press

The Leiden University Visual Ethnography collection has been added to Alexander Street Press, an educational streaming video service. The master’s specialization Visual Ethnography has supported many talented individuals to produce inspiring films. About 70 master’s thesis films of the past 8 years were nominated and added to the collection. This unique collaboration allows alumni to reach a broader audience and public exposure so their research and innovative storytelling will get greater visibility.

The collaboration also has a financial benefit both for alumni and future students. The filmmakers receive a one-time up-front royalty. In the subsequent years, the royalties will be channeled into a “LUVE Collection Royalty Fund”. With this fund, Leiden University students and alumni will be supported with grants for traveling to conferences and film festivals and new research projects. All films are accessible via the website. If you want to see all the LUVE films search for “Leiden” and you will find the entire LUVE collection. 

If you are at the university or able to log in remotely, you will be able to access the collection. Otherwise, you can see the menu and get a 30-second preview of films. 

What to watch: a few examples to start with

Don’t know where to start watching? Begin for example with ‘Terra Incognita’ by Shirley van der Maarel. She won both the Speckman award and the Leiden University thesis Prize 2020 with her film. In Terra Incognita Shirley recreates the world that the new residents of Valle di Comino inhabit. The film shows a world of confusion, where few things make sense, and one can only expect the unexpected – an impossible task.

Another option is 'Don’t Let the sunny weather fool you' a film made by Visual Ethnography alumna Guusje Meeuwissen that has been selected for the RAI film festival in London earlier this year. It's a short film about the everyday lives of a farmer and a fisherman in the Philippines, and their capacity to adapt to a changing natural environment and climate.

Or watch ‘Entre las plantas’, made by Mark Lindenberg. During his fieldwork for his film, he ended up being in lockdown for almost three months in Peru. He researched the communication between man and plant. Medicinal plants can cure people not only physically, but also mentally. His movie tells the story of a family of curanderos (healers) who guide Peruvians while using teacher plants. The knowledge about the plants has been present in their system for many generations.

About Alexander Street Press: 4th Volume

Alexander Street Press, a subsidiary of ProQuest, is the premier distributor of streaming academic videos, including four volumes of ethnographic films. The fourth volume features student films produced in some of the premiere visual anthropology/ethnography programs around the world, including the University of Manchester’s Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology and the University of Southern California’s Masters of Visual Anthropology.

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