The Wuthering West

Maxine Lampers

“You won’t be able to find children outdoors, it is going to be cold and wet by the time your fieldwork starts”, I was told when coming up with my research idea. Luckily, they were wrong and I found my research population at natural playground Het Woeste Westen. I researched children aged 6 to 12 when they we’re either playing by themselves at the playground, or as part of the ‘adventure club’, which was semi-organized outdoor play under supervision of educational professionals. The biggest insight this research gave me was that because of the ever-changing elements, the outdoors offers opportunities for play that are unavailable at home.

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Maxine Lampers
Maxine Lampers

Maxine Lampers, 29 Amsterdam: Oftentimes people talk about recovering from the trauma of graduating, which resonates with me quite well. Before I started doing this master, I was passionate about writing, photography and making film. I remember how excited I was about one of the first assignments we got during the pre-master. I wrote about the child daycare in the canal district I was working at, at the time. It was fun and it gave me energy to look at my workspace from an anthropological perspective, and it was received well by my teacher. I am happy I can call myself an anthropologist now, and excited to see how I will be evolving.

Riding a cold ripple

Evi Kasman

‘Riding a cold ripple’ is a short ethnographic film exploring the experience of stoke among various surfers throughout Scheveningen, The Hague. Even though waves in Scheveningen are often considered mediocre from an international perspective, a tight community of surfers has developed who enter the water year-round, even when temperatures drop below zero. Stoke itself can best be described as a type of energy found within surfers that they share, experience together and individually, and that influences them on a daily basis. Following four participants, the researcher herself included, the film explores the feeling of being stoked, something that can be felt, but not at all times put into words.

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Evi Kasman
Evi Kasman

Evi Milou Kasman is a twenty-seven-year old beginning visual ethnographer. Evi majored in South and Southeast Asian Studies (undergraduate) and in Visual Ethnography (graduate) at Leiden University. She is interested in creating more films concerning movement and moving bodies, providing a similar experience to watching a dance unfold on stage.

Saving Women

Lian Hof

Saving Women (Life at the Netherlands Fire Service) follows women during their job as female firefighters. It shows how these women navigate a work field that is still dominated by men. The film is inspired by the question whether lack of female representation poses a problem, on both a societal level and for the women that work in the field themselves. Their daily realities are shown in relation to matters of diversity and inclusivity. It discovers their stories, throughout their interaction with their coworkers.

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Lian Hof
Lian Hof

My name is Lian Hof (25) and I chose this master because I wanted to make films. To me, the untold story is of the utmost importance. All people have a story, but not everything is, can be, or has to be shared. People that open up to share their experiences, their thoughts and time, offer new perspectives. It can show the world in all its complexities and vulnerabilities. This master handed me the tools to go above and beyond what I deemed possible for audiovisual storytelling, while reminding me how important it is to stay curious and have empathy towards people.

Help wanted: a female caregiver to the rescue

Dora Intzirtzi

“Help wanted: a female caregiver to the rescue” is a partly autoethnographic experimental film about the female nurses of exclusive duty in Greece. Self-employed nurses provide care to only one patient at a time at the hospitals or/and at homes, covering the gap in terms of exclusive caregiving caused by state inefficiencies. The majority of the nurses of exclusive duty are women and immigrants while some of them work illegally with or without a nursing diploma. Through online conversations and poetic montage, Dora Intzirtzi explores the perspectives, experiences, and emotions of three nurses of exclusive duty, and juxtaposes theirs with her experience as a granddaughter of grandparents that were taken care of by a nonprofessional caregiver.

Poster - Help wanted: a female caregiver to the rescue

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Dora Intzirtzi
Dora Intzirtzi

Dora Intzirtzi is a filmmaker and visual ethnographer from Athens (Greece). After finishing her bachelor’s in History and Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, she decided to follow her passion in filmmaking and she completed a Certificate of Attendance in Film studies. Her work in short films and video projects and the experience of the Summer School “Visual Ethnography of Cityscapes” at the Netherlands Institute at Athens (NIA) motivated her to join the master’s program in Visual Ethnography at Leiden University, from which she just graduated. She has made four short documentaries. “Made in Absence”, her second and co-directed film, concerns the topics of absence and imagination in Greek cultural heritage and it was screened on the 9th Athens Ethnographic Film Festival (Ethnofest). Her recent experience of doing this master’s program made her interested in delving more into anthropology, focused on medical anthropology and anthropology of gender.

In The Moment

Maxime Scharrenberg

‘In the Moment’: An ethnographic shortfilm by Maxime Scharrenberg. This observational film positions photography as the object of study. It illustrates how Nikki van de Poel and Sander Coers, two contemporary photographers, translate their subjective ideas of beauty and that of the body through their photographic process. Intimate access into the photographers’ engagement with the female body in their work provides lived experience of how each individual explores beauty in collaboration with the photographed: Loutje Hoekstra and Vera van Buuren. The film argues that this exchange is a process which, in this case, enables the photographer to construct notions of beauty and that of the body through their experiential and relational exchange.

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Maxime Scharrenberg
Maxime Scharrenberg

Maxime Scharrenberg is a visual anthropologist, filmmaker, and photographer based in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Through tying together a bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology gained from Utrecht University with the Visual Ethnography masters at Leiden University, Maxime has delved deep into visually creative explorations that involve her first love – photography. Her masters research brought to the fore how beauty can be envisioned through different perceptions, experiences, and relationships in the photographic process. 

Space For Artistic Practice

Dilara Erzeybek

Space for Artistic Practice (2021) follows two artists named Paolo and Rika from artist community Treehouse NDSM in Amsterdam. The film includes comparative portraits of Rika and Paolo, and this reflects on the diversity of the roles and intentionality’s of artists. From her research findings, the filmmaker argues that artists need to have a space where they can create their own environment, that can lead them to certain experiences. The goal is to get into a mental state where everyday life and obligations can be forgotten, and artistic process can take place. This indicates that artists have diverse lives and that argues in favor of not seeing artists too much as one thing.

Non ordering principles, but natural thinking and the opportunity to move freely is an example of how Paolo’s artistic process and the role of space in it could be explored. On the other hand, Rika has an approach that needs her workspace to be segmented according to her own preferences and rules, in order to enable artistic process.

The filmmaker is fascinated by the intentionality of artistic practice that reflects on the state of the society in which it is created. The film argues that in this way, artists can even provide us with an instrument that allows for a better understanding of a culture in time and space, by capturing its zeitgeist.

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Dilara Erzeybek
Dilara Erzeybek

I chose the master Visual Ethnography because it offers room for artistic expression and experimentation to deliver research material. Visual Ethnography has taught me to understand the importance of involving my own insight in research and the way research subjects understand their own experience. For my research, I used observational cinema in registering and studying my participant’s artistic practices and processes, which are about sounds, gestures, atmosphere, colors, emotions, movement, spaces, and which are all aspects that can be portrayed so well in an ethnographic film. In my view, this allows me to present and explore “everything at once”. Besides that, I like to engage in creative practices myself and creating a film has been an activity in which I could explore my own interests in art and find ways to make a creative connection between form and content.

Not My Truth

Alice Elliott

In Not My Truth, I explore the Dutch-speaking truth seeker community, which consists of people who claim that the corona restrictions are a first step towards a dystopian, global, totalitarian regime. Using a reflexive approach, the film discusses both the thoughts and experiences of my participants being part of this community, as well as those of me doing this research project.

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Alice Elliott
Alice Elliott

Alice (23): “It was during my bachelor in anthropology that I discovered that I actually wanted to make films. So when I first heard about the VE master’s programme – where I could combine my passion for anthropology and film – I immediately knew that this was what I had to do. Though the Covid-19 pandemic forced me to do the entire master’s from home, turning this year into a challenging experience that made me face and sometimes cross my own limits, it also allowed me to study a newborn and rapidly growing online community.”

Crowd Surfing

Roos Daemen

Scheveningen Noord has become a crowded surf place with the popularization of the surf sport. Following experienced surfer Mark and beginner surfer Suzy, documentary maker and beginner surfer Roos explores how the crowdedness at Dutch surf spot Scheveningen Noord influences the social aspect in the water. Who has the right to catch the waves when beginner surfers and experienced surfers compete for the same waves? And how does the increased danger of collisions contribute to tensions in the water?

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Roos Daemen
Roos Daemen

Roos Daemen is a 25-year-old documentary filmmaker and visual anthropologist based in Leiden, the Netherlands. Roos finished a bachelor in cultural anthropology and a master in visual ethnography at Leiden University. During her studies she specialised in photography and graphic design at the Royal Academy of Art, the Hague (KABK). Furthermore, she was a reporter and presenter for several cultural organisations, among others; Oerol Festival, Kunstbende and Museumnacht Leiden. Her interests lie with topics such as identity, power dynamics and art forms (film, photography, theatre, dance etc.), and in her work she wants to explore how different art forms can be used to draw attention to social issues. For the project ‘Crowd surfing’ she made a magazine and a short documentary film.

Dear Happiness

Evina van Marrewijk

In the short documentary DEAR HAPPINESS, four Dutch millennials: Lin, Gianni, Jana and Arjuna, go on a journey together with the filmmaker (also a millennial) in search for their meaning of happiness. While being under the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, with society on lockdown and a curfew after 9 p.m., they try to find out what happiness is for them, why, and how they relate to its presence and absence in their lives. The film uses collaborative, experimental ethnographic filmmaking, combining the various artistic disciplines of the participants with anthropology to evoke sensory experiences and reflexivity.

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Evina van Marrewijk
Evina van Marrewijk

Evina van Marrewijk is a 26-year-old visual anthropologist based in the Netherlands. She finished her bachelor’s Cultural Anthropology at the University of Utrecht and has a creative background in theatre and dance:

“The master Visual Ethnography at Leiden University allowed me to combine creativity and anthropology. I always try to find ways to include both artistic and ethnographic elements in my storytelling. The biggest thing I’ve learned this year is to be at peace with the constant discomfort of not knowing, and how this turned out to be the core of a fascinating (visual) journey.”

Touching Absence

Flore Hoekstra

Touching Absence is a sensory exploration of the phenomenon of huidhonger; the intense desire for touch. Huidhonger is a sensation that people started to experience en masse when the coronavirus reached the Netherlands and the government locked down the country. Through personal stories and experiences, led by sensory imagery and sound, Touching Absence explores the effects of an absence of, and a desire for touch during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Netherlands.

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Flore Hoekstra
Flore Hoekstra

Flore is a 26 years old visual anthropologist based in Amsterdam. Having always been deeply interested in both science and art, she felt that she had to choose between the two when she started studying. In visual anthropology she found a way to combine these two interests, as well as her curiosity and empathy for people’s stories. Doing this masters while the country was in lockdown, she discovered that even in the most sensory and activity lacking situations she could find inspiration. This made her realize that inspiration does not only lie in big events and experiences, but can also be found in the lack of these experiences or in the small and mundane things in life.