FAN LAB EASA STHLM 2018 Getting dirty: activism, intervention and mobilising future anthropologies

FAN LAB w text (1)

We are looking forward to your registration for the EASA2018 laboratory ‘Getting dirty: activism, intervention and mobilising future anthropologies’ (L017) of the Future Anthropologies Network (FAN).

Please follow the EASA2018 website link below. Click on the ‘Mail All Convenors’ link and send a request to Sarah Pink, Magda Kazubowski-Houston and Johannes Sjöberg to join the lab:

The lab will be take place at Stockholm University in room SO-F420 on 17 Aug and run over two sessions from 9am. Please also check the FAN lab blog post for more information and continuous updates.

Location SO-F420

Date and Start Time 17 Aug, 2018 at 09:00

Sessions 2


  1. Introduction (all groups) 9:00-9:15
  2. Activities in three separate workshops (9:15-10:45)
  3. Each workshop reconvenes separately (11:00-12:30)
  4. All workshops reconvene for a short discussion (12:30-1:00)


Johannes Sjöberg (The University of Manchester)
Sarah Pink (RMIT University)
Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston (York University)

Short abstract

Laboratory participants will explore co-creative practice as a way of envisioning anthropology’s moral responsibility in a critical context in workshops led by Sarah Pink, Magda Kazubowski-Houston and Johannes Sjöberg.

Long abstract

“We are ethical, political and interventionist, and take responsibility for interventions.” (Future Anthropologies Network Manifesto, 2014).

In recent years, anthropologists have rethought how ethnographic practice might engage with and intervene global threats, uncertainties, and future mobilities. How do we get from our ethnographic practices and anthropological insights to concrete actions that engage individuals and communities? This laboratory explores what activism, intervention, and engagement can mean when we conceptualise ethnography as a radical research practice and what this means for how we do fieldwork with research participants, and co-create, represent, and disseminate our ethnographies. Through provocations, group work, and exercises that employ a variety of creative, arts-based, and new technology approaches, workshop participants will envision anthropology’s moral responsibility.

The laboratory will offer three workshops: “Silent Traces” explores silence as a wellspring of the uncertain and the speculative by archiving, story-telling, and performing “traces of silence” found in the streets of Stockholm, to discuss silence as an interventionist and imaginative ethnographic method. “SuperSwede” will engage projective improvisation to ask local participants to create their own super hero characters on murals, provoking ideas about transformation, urbanity and worldmaking, led and filmed by participating anthropologists. “Future Technologies” will explore how imagined and emerging future technologies – flying cars, new forms of machine intelligence, blockchain, drone technologies and more – might participate in anthropological interventions. After meeting up together at the beginning of the laboratory the participants will chose one of the three workshops that will run parallel to each other over two consecutive sessions.


EASAFAN at Milan 2016

Future Anthropologies Network will host a panel at EASA 2016.

The 2016 conference, entitled Anthropological legacies and human futures, is ideally themed for FAN. The conference will be hosted by the Department of Human Science for Education ‘Riccardo Massa’ and Department of Sociology and Social Research at University of Milano-Bicocca on 20-23 July, 2016

Panel 70: ‘Possible/plausible/probable/preferable. Concepts and techniques for realising futures [FAN]‘ is open for papers – the deadline for submissions is February 15th. We look forward to receiving abstracts that fit into the broad area specified in the abstracts below.


Milan Vertical Forest ©Stefano Boeri Architects

Panel information:

Short Abstract

The FAN panel explores how anthropology might conceptualize, study, and intervene in futures as modes of world making. It engages with ethnography as a means of interrogating the possible, the mundane, and the speculative, asking what/how cross-disciplinary ethnographic approaches might be crafted.

Long Abstract

EASA FAN’s manifesto describes the network as ‘stubbornly transdisciplinary and transnational’, ‘building on traditions and reflecting on pasts’. Responding to the EASA 2016 conference theme “Anthropological Legacies and Human Futures,” the FAN panel explores how anthropology might conceptualize, study, and intervene in futures as modes of world making. It specifically engages with ethnography as a means of interrogating the possible, the mundane, and the speculative. It seeks to initiate a conversation on what/how cross-disciplinary ethnographic approaches might be crafted that both account for the future and envision interventionist and anticipatory anthropology. The panel invites papers with a critical disposition to anthropology’s historical underpinnings, a focus on lived experience as well as imaginaries, and a cross-disciplinary appreciation of ethnography, who are neither possessive nor defensive about anthropology’s methods and ideas. The panel asks: What can we learn from how others use ethnography to investigate the future? What can the anthropological attention to the mundane and the experience-rich offer other disciplinary approaches? What would intervening into futures entail both conceptually and ethnographically? In particular, the panel considers ethnographic border crossings as techniques for researching futures, including visual, auditory, performative, embodied, sensory, and literary experimentation within and outside of anthropology. Themes may (but need not) consider futures as world making, frail futures, future anthropocene, the technical sublime, fiction-archaeology, creation of desire, financial and commercial imaginaries, unsettling ethics, prototyping or scenarios, and future activisms.