Society for Visual Anthropology
Volunteered - Oral Presentation Session
Ethno science fiction is a development of Jean Rouch's ethnofiction. Ethnofiction draws on projective improvisation as an ethnographic film method to explore past and present experiences of ethnographic significance though co-creative film practices within a fictive and reflexive framework. (Rouch, 2003) Ethno science fiction is, in contrast, exclusively concerned with the uncertainty of the future. (Sjöberg, 2017)
Reflecting on the experiences of making the ethno science fiction film Call Me Back (Sjöberg, 2019) as part of the research project Forward Play, this paper will ask if participatory video in combination with applied theatre can be used as a method to explore climate change. Participants of ethnographic fieldwork in areas especially vulnerable to climate change are asked to act out their own science fictions in front of the camera to provide access to their imagination in relation to the future, including anticipations with regards to climate change.
The suggested method refers to the popular genre to indicate the impact the process of imagining an uncertain future has on present experiences and how the imagined narratives of the ethno science fiction influence the creation of strategies for the future. The theoretical context of the project builds on Crapanzano's work on the creative play of imagination in anthropology (2004) in combination with critical theory on cognitive estrangement in science fiction (Suvin, 1979).
Ultimately, ethno science fiction draws on the hermeneutic fundament of ethnography to complement quantitative methods used in contemporary future studies by approaching individual and emotional dimensions of uncertainty through co-creative practice.