“When we look […] we are putting ourselves in a sensory state that is at once one of vacancy and of heightened awareness”
— The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses, David MacDougall
(c) Ilinca Vânău
I was born and raised in Romania. I left home when I was 18 and spent 6 years learning about anthropology, film & documentary, and a tiny bit about linguistics, in Scotland and Denmark. In between, I had some necessary frugal backpacking breaks around North and South America (stay tuned for the On The Road-inspired documentary!). My interests throughout this period were scattered, but connected in a way that would, with hindsight, make more sense:
- an early fascination for the “virtual world”, having grown up with the internet as a huge presence in my life;
- a similarly early fascination for anything supernatural and fairy-tale-like;
- unintentional but cherished encounters with alternative lifestyles
- and a deeply ingrained love for all things animalia
It was during my graduate studies at Aarhus University where I could finally begin to make sense of my interests under the theoretical umbrella of post-humanism. I call myself a techy (post-)humanist because I yearn to engage with non-human actors just as much as with human actors, and I am eager to do so in less conventional ways. I also enjoy learning about how to use technological tools to deliver a more immediate message.
Why Visual Anthropology?
I call myself a visual anthropologist because I think in (moving) images, and because I spend all my time questioning how people interact with themselves, each other, their surroundings. My curiosity for life finds its best playground in audio-visual and interactive formats.
We are truly living in a visual world, which can lead to an oversaturation of brightly-coloured gifs. People use this medium in ways that can create empathy or, on the contrary, dissent. If the purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences, then we must embrace the potential of these audio-visual tools to tell human stories that open up the world.
My practice, then, seeks to understand and illuminate these cultural realities. I do so primarily by listening and by looking. By observing and participating. By critiquing the forms of representation.
How would I summarise my work?
Besides my visual work, I’m also pretty handy with
- organising cultural events (film festival, interactive exhibitions, talks etc)
- researching, analysing & disseminating cultural events/realities
- translations & captions/subtitles
- motivating people & maintaining collective focus
What is this website?
G L O W SOLE is a portfolio of visual-textual material found within myself and within various ethnographic projects (past, present or potential). A centralised outlet for words, photos and videos.
Don’t forget to drop me a line if you want to share your thoughts with me!
(c) Ilinca Vânău