Institute of Social Anthropology

Past events

Symposium of the Commission of (Audio-)Visual Anthropology

It is our pleasure to invite you to this year’s student film festival Regard Bleu and Symposium of the Commission for Audio-visual Anthropology (CAV) of the Swiss Anthropological Society (SAS) entitled Virtual realities: Re-thinking “experience” in the age of new immersive media

With a rich and diverse program of student films being screened on Friday and Saturday, the Regard Bleu presents recent productions of young filmmakers and academics from Switzerland and abroad. While providing a platform for students to discuss their projects and exchange their experiences, the Regard Bleu also gives insight into student`s engagements with audio-visual media and may indicate current trends among young academics.

Taking place on Friday evening and Sunday, this years’ symposium explores the question of how social anthropology may engage with the possibilities and limitations that virtual reality technology offers. For more than a century, social anthropology has attempted to describe, translate, and evoke the experience of Others. Using methods that situate the anthropologist in her collaborators’ time and space, the idea of “being there” and approximating what it must feel like to act and exist in different kinds of environments, has inspired a variety of approaches to looking, hearing, writing and recording. However, how close we as anthropologists can actually get to conveying the experiences of Others has always had its limitations, leading to critical debates of what is actually achievable. Currently, we find ourselves in the midst of a technological revolution: Virtual Reality (VR) and 360° video encapsulate the proposition of literally creating virtual environments that evoke an experience that comes closer than ever be- fore to a sensory reality. With a look behind the scenes of VR and/ or 360° video productions, discussing practical workflows, viewing selected examples and engaging with the theory behind the media, this year’s CAV Symposium is dedicated to the experiential, political and ethical possibilities, implications and limitations of the so- called new “immersive media”.

Please find the program of the film festival and the symposium in the attachment below or visit or CAV/eventsandcourses.html

Michele Dick for the University of Zürich

Michaela Schäuble, Martha-Cecilia Dietrich and Laura Coppens for the University of Bern


For further inquiries contact: Regard Bleu -; CAV Symposium:

Thank you for an inspiring weekend at this year’s CAV Symposium entitled "Virtual Realities - Re-thinking ‘experience ‘ in the age of new immersive media" organised by the Media Anthropology team from the University of Bern in a wonderful collaboration with the University of Zürich and supported by the Swiss Anthropological Society (SAS).