Visual anthropology; confluences of anthropology and art, visual and narrative storytelling, creative writing practices; history of visual anthropology; everyday histories of inclusion and exclusion; qualitative research methods; existential anthropology, refugee and migration studies with an emphasise on im/mobility and the making of home
Tunisia, Belgium, Italy (South Tyrol) and the German-speaking Alpine region
I am a social anthropologist and documentary filmmaker, mainly focusing on migratory and marginal worlds as well as visual and textual storytelling. Having studied Social- (University of Vienna) and Visual Anthropology (University of Manchester), I participated in the Post-University Master Class SIC - Sound Image Culture Brussels, engaging with artful ways of storytelling and challenging documentary conventions. Questioning the relation between artist/anthropologist, subject and viewer as well as reflecting on how "the other" is presented in contemporary media has subsequently become one of my main interests. Working as a filmmaker (e.g. "A Letter to Mohamed", 35 Min., 2013) and conducting narrative participatory projects (e.g. "Mots d'Enfant", 8 Min., 2015) the following years, I have also taught workshops on the use of video in anthropology and human rights advocacy in and outside of academia.
I returned to Anthropology as part of the ERC research group "KFI - Knowing from the Inside" at the University of Aberdeen. In my dissertation 'Crafting Lives in Brussels: Making and Mobility on the Margins' I explore the lifeworlds of migrants who settled in the district of Molenbeek in Brussels more than two decades ago, combining participant observation with life storytelling and visual tools. The thesis sheds light on processes of mobility and immobility as well as marginalisation and exclusion in a city that has evolved from a little-known town to the capital of the European Union. My long-term engagement with an area of Brussels that has turned into a symbol of failed multiculturalism and is often stigmatised as a migrant "ghetto" has triggered my interest to also explore the sentiments of those who are drawn to anti-EU and anti-globalisation sentiments. In recent years I started to move my gaze towards the inhabitants of rural areas, conducting the project "Container" (together with the Austrian filmmaker and writer Iris Blauensteiner). In June 2019 I joined the independent research group "Alpine Histories of Global Change: Time, Self and the Other in the German-speaking Alpine region" at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology as a postdoctoral researcher. In my project 'Contested Soil: Everyday Histories of Belonging to, Losing and Defending Place on a South Tyrolean Alp' I aim to explore the notion of 'attachment to the soil' and how this is experienced and understood in everyday practices of South Tyrolians living in Europe's largest high plateau, the 'Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi'. The value of visual and artistic tools in understanding these everyday practices plays an important role for my project.