A lecture on the link between new technologies and ethnographic studies is presented

Submitted by lilia.sanz on Monday 27 de November 2017 - 09:9 am
conferencia tecnología y etnografía

By: Natacha Reyes Escobar

As part of the 1st PhD Scientific Workshop "Bringing knowledge into practice", Dr. Paolo Favero, Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Studies of the University of Antwerp delivered the lecture, "What do new images do? Reflections on possible dialogues between emerging digital technologies and ethnographic research".

During his presentation, Favero highlighted the intrinsic differences between the digital and analogical spheres. He explained that, the appearance of digital images in the 1990s introduced a "new vision model".

  "The digital world requires a revolution and, of course, things will not be appreciated in the same way", Favero added. He highlighted how the personal construction of timelines and space has changed, which were previously observed in printed photo albums and are now displayed on electronic devices such as smart phones.

This scholar focuses his studies on people’s ways of life, seen through the images, which is influenced by the predominant type of aesthetics, since nowadays people live in an audiovisual world, where they publish their photos, share and comment.


The digital world imposes new ways of assuming what can be learned from culture and society, since, through audiovisual productions and photography, their influences are appreciated. Images are not just containers of past material traces, they are carriers of information; they constitute multimodal material and relational aspects, Favero explained.

At present, images shout out loud, they do more than merely illustrating the investigative texts by transmitting cultural meanings and notions about society. This leads ethnographers to respond and adapt to the change in visual technologies and forms of information.

Ethnography is linked to emerging technologies through the use of cameras, sensors, GPS devices, interactive documentaries and applications in smartphones, with the aim of enriching studies in this field.


Translator: Lilia Sanz Gámez.

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