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Impact of the Food Citizens? Winter School

We asked our Winter School students to evaluate the effect and significance of this learning experience on their current research trajectories and future plans. Here are some reflections.

Simone de Boer (Ph.D. candidate, University of Gothenburg)

I really appreciate the hands-on approach of the Winter School. In addition to gaining a better understanding of both the opportunities and challenges of using audiovisual and collaborative methods, I feel encouraged and inspired to continue experimenting with creative methods and to make them central to my PhD research.

Gabrielle Fenton (Ph.D. candidate, University of Louvain)

I’m very grateful I was able to take part in the Winter School for many reasons. After two years of Covid, I really appreciated the sort of ‘magic’ that emerges from bringing together a group of people from various lands so that they can share together around non-linear ways of thinking and doing anthropology, and be encouraged to experiment with that and try it out there and then. I am currently drafting my methodological plan for my up-coming fieldwork and will be using a lot of what we learnt in there. One thing that will stay with me for a long time is that multi-modal anthropology is not only a matter of creating a finished product at the end of a research: more importantly, it’s the ongoing process of using (and experimenting with) different means of observing, collaborating and analysing ethnographically. As Federico explained to us, ethnography is an exercise in clarification - to ourselves and for others - that requires a constant multi-modal back and forth between the ‘data’ and what we make from it. I also found it very helpful that the conversation about ethics was not presented to us as a satellite issue, but as a central part of the entire process, key to ensuring the quality of our work. 

Carolina Nemethy (Ph.D. candidate, the Arctic University of Norway):

I found the Leiden Winter School to be a valuable opportunity to learn about a broad range of tools and methods for multimodal ethnography, as well as the new practical and ethical considerations that go with them. Moreover, the activities broadened my own network of visual anthropologists and fellow researchers interested in working with these methods, and with whom I've had fruitful discussions and found both inspiration and motivation to continue pursuing and experimenting with various media. The limited timeframe of the projects encouraged effective collaboration with group members and sparked an opportunity for joint effort that would otherwise be uncommon in a (largely solitary) PhD journey. I highly recommend this Winter School for anyone willing to work with visual anthropology and daring to step out of their academic comfort zone into head-on, relatively short-term and practical engagement with visual methods. Everything I've learned in this short time I will now find useful in my long-term academic journey. Overall, the project kindled an awareness of the challenge and amount of work and care put into visual/multimodal ethnography for effective, in-depth communication. 

Isotta Rossoni (Ph.D. candidate, University of Leiden):

The Food Citizens winter school was a truly eye-opening experience.  I can safely say that it has immensely broadened my horizons in terms of visual methodologies, introducing me to a host of new and exciting opportunities and ways of conceiving, producing and disseminating research. The perfect combination of theoretical sessions and hands-on practice, the course brought together a diverse range of participants, promoting individual skills-development, as well as collaboration and mutual learning. I look forward to continuing my visual methodology learning journey and putting the knowledge garnered so far into practice.


You can find the full program of the Winter School here

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