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Daniela   Vavrova

Adjunct/associate Researcher
The Cairns Institute and the College of Arts, Society and Education
James Cook University (Australia)
[ ]

I speak in the following language(s): English, Slovak, Tok Pisin, Czech, German, Spanish

Member of
European Society for Oceanists (ESfO)
Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)
Geographic administrative areas
Geographic places
Indigenous languages
Tok Pisin
  • PhD Research (2010 to 2014)
    'Skin has Eyes and Ears' - Audiovisual Ethnography in a Sepik Society — James Cook University, The Cairns Institute and the College of Art, Society, and Education
    My PhD thesis is based on several visits and a year of fieldwork in Ambonwari
    village of East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. It deploys audio-visual
    methods to explore how people shape, and are shaped by, their social and cultural
    environment through their sensory experience. I focus on the visible arɨm ‘skin,
    body’ and the invisible wambung ‘insideness, understanding’, as the main sources
    of people’s experience. My aim was not simply to explore these Ambonwari
    understandings of experience but to follow insights derived from Maurice Merleau-
    Ponty and David MacDougall, among others, in order to understand the reciprocal
    function of these sensory engagements as ways of knowledge. I chose to have the
    camera as a mediator in my research and a catalyst for an ‘exchange of vision’
    between myself and the Ambonwari. I discuss the possibility of seeing the invisible
    by changing one’s skin and I take my audio-visual material, Ambonwari recordings,
    and our public film screenings to explore this concept. Both, in the text and in the
    audio-visual material, I highlight how Ambonwari concepts of ‘skin’ and
    ‘insideness’, and the seen and the invisible, structured their experience of film
    viewing and filmmaking. In doing this I outline an approach to visual ethnography
    that stresses the sensual properties of the Ambonwari visual experience.
  • Collaborative Project (2013 to present)
    ALTAR - Anthropological Laboratory for Tropical Audiovisual Research — James Cook University, The Cairns Institute and the College of Art, Society, and Education
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