Ethnographic Film and Critical Consciousness

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Film ethnography is established within social development academia and praxis, but there is limited impact-evidence of its ability to positively transform participant communities through studies based on credible theoretical underpinnings. This paper suggests that Paulo Freire’s ‘critical consciousness’ (Freire, 1978) theory, involving self-reflection and transformation, has relevance for film ethnography because ethnographic film can present life situations back to its subjects in ways that support self-reflection and transformation.

Fieldwork will now be presented that used film ethnography as an action research methodology based on Freirean principles where vulnerable Nepali communities (whose lives and livelihoods are heavily dependent on working equines) and their equines engaged in participatory film ethnography, facilitated by project partners seeking transformation in working equine welfare. Anthrozoology typically describes the study of the interactions and relationships between human and non-human animals. ‘Film anthrozoology’ appears the most accurate term for the action research described in this article, although ‘film ethnography’ as a term offers more scope for reflecting on wider applications within social development praxis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 16 Sept 2022
EventInternational Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) Conference 2022 - Online
Duration: 15 Sept 202218 Sept 2022


ConferenceInternational Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) Conference 2022


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