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Background

 

Established in 2004 CTMP has promoted the development of visual ethnographic and documentary scholarship. Attentive to the methodological concerns of visual anthropology, film, media and cultural studies and the creatice arts, the Centre foregrounds the use of lens-based practice as a transdisciplinary research orientation, thematically engaged with questions of migration and globalization, transculturalism, civic participation and transnationalism in Ireland and beyond. Such an ethnographic media  practice orientation promotes a self-reflexive and critical understanding of the use of both established and new digital media technologies in the production, theorization and dissemination of knowledge within and outside the academy.

Our use of the term ‘transcultural’ suggests the lived, temporal, spatialized and intersubjective contingencies of identity formations – the necessity to acknowledge and respect cultural differences, while recognising the possibility for shared commonalities within and across diverse ethnic groups. A critically informed documentary practice, we argue, is capable of mediating between different constituencies and communities; it has the ability to break down preconceived cultural barriers and prejudices, to amplify voices and perspectives previously overlooked and marginalized in mainstream media representation. It has the unique potential to re-present complex social worlds and human experiences to a wide range of audiences through a variety of digital formats.

The work of the Centre dates back to an inaugural conference in 2001 titled ‘Migration and Location: Visual Media Research’. In this context international visual artists, media practitioners, activists, migrant constituencies, NGOs, academics and policy makers came together to present transnational practice-led projects on the subject of migration. What emerged from this forum was recognition of the transformative role and impact of creative media in representing the everyday reality of the immigrant experience. The critical use of media in response to questions of identity and social justice remains a central and organising concern of the Centre, disseminated through documentary film, photographic exhibitions, installation, CD/DVD-ROM, online distribution and written publications. 

 

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