luc schaedler



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Smartphone Anthropology


Visual Anthropology

University of Fribourg
Social Anthropology


A practical seminar



Visual Anthropology deals with visual «representations» of cultural and social conditions in a reflective manner, both practically and theoretically. Historically, it has developed from the illustration of written travelogues into an independent research and knowledge tool.

Initially still analog, it has increasingly shifted to digital space, both in terms of production and «evaluation» (multimedia websites, blogs, YouTube, etc.). Today, Visual Anthropology goes far beyond mere representation and observation and is increasingly oriented towards participatory approaches (see an input lecture by Dr. Darcy Alexandra followed by a discussion).

The practical seminar «Smartphone Anthropology» is aimed at bachelor and master students who are interested in Visual Anthropology and would like to work visually as part of their studies. Debates will also be addressed and critically discussed, reflecting central questions within visual anthropology.

In this mainly practical seminar we will still read some theoretical texts, analyze documentary films and produce our own film contributions in group work. Through practical exercises, students will acquire rudimentary skills in using the smartphone as a research tool. Especially as a widespread everyday object, smartphones allow low-threshold access to the field and the “protagonists” involved.


Dr. Luc Schaedler: Studied ethnology at the University of Zurich. Graduated with two documentary films: Made in Hong Kong (Master, 1997) and Angry Monk (Ph.D., 2005). Independent filmmaker and producer since 2001.
→ Video On Demand

Smartphone Anthropology - Luc Schaedler - Visual Anthropology

Anka Schmid working on a documentary with her smartphone, 2020


Below is a LINK to what gadgets we will need in the upcoming practical seminar «Smartphone Anthropology». To be able to film “professionally” with the smartphone a small investment will be necessary (appr. CHF 100).

To Smartphone Equipment and Filmic Pro → click here


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