About us

Centre of Visual Anthropology (CVA) at the Moscow University is a creative unit based on the Video Computer Technologies Lab of the Moscow University Extension. Its activities unite professors and students of various Moscow University departments.

In long years centre existence many wonderful people assisted MSU CVA in scientific and creative activity, helped to organize visual anthropology festivals and conferences.
Evgeny V. Alexandrov
Leonid S. Filimonov
Olga B. Khristoforova
Elena S. Danilko
Natalia Litvina
Ivan Boiko
Andrey Isserov
Vladimir M. Magidov
Peter Kalmykov
Anastasia Kasparova
Maria Silkina
Alexandr Kutkin
Boris Budinas

The CVA was the first in Russia (since 1991) to methodically conduct complex visual anthropological activity:

  • collect Russian and foreign audiovisual materials;
  • video monitor the actual condition of Russian traditional cultures;
  • create films for cultural, scholarly and educational goals;
  • form the video archive;
  • participate in developing the theory of visual anthropology;
  • organise university courses;
  • participate in conferences and festivals;
  • organise events aiming at including ideas and materials of Visual Anthropology in socio-cultural practice.

CVA participated in organising:

  • seven International seminars on Visual Anthropology in Moscow (1993-2005);
  • two Russian festivals of Visual Anthropology in Salekhard in 1998 and 2000; the Russian Association of Visual Anthropology (RAVA) was established at these festivals;
  • section of Visual Anthropology at the IV International Festival of Documentaries Flahertiana in Perm’ (May 31 – June 5, 2002) where the CVA director Leonid Filimonov received an award Silver Nanouk;

CVA organised:

  • three Moscow International Festivals of Visual Anthropology (April 5-8, 2002, May 22-26, 2004, October 8-13, 2006);
  • sections of visual anthropology at the III-VI Russian Congresses of Anthropologists (Moscow, Nalchik, Omsk, Saint-Petersburg, Saransk (1999-2007);
  • schools of visual anthropology in Krasnoyarsk (1999) and Tomsk (2000 и 2001);
  • master school of anthopological cinema and TV in Klyuchi, Perm’ Region (2001);
  • master class at the ethnomusical festival Zhivaya Voda (“Living Water”) at the Teletskoe lake (Altai), 2001;
  • master school at the Cultural Fair of the Volga Region Video Atlas of the Volga Peoples History in the Veneziya (Venice!) village (Bashkortostan) in 2003;
  • master class Visual Anthropology: Actual Problems of Theory and Practice at the II Yugra Field Museum Biennale in Khanty-Mansiysk (2006 г.);
  • master class at the Autumn School Visual Methods in Science and Education of the Saint-Petersburg University (2007).

CVA published the Russian translation of Karl Heider’s Ethnographic Film, seven collections of articles on the visual anthropology and Evgeny Alexandrov’s monography Theoretical and Methodological Problems of Visual Anthropology: Essay of Interpretation.

Currently the CVA is also functioning as the information and technological centre of the Russian Association of Visual Anthropology. It developed its own method of filming “consonant camera” and the university course Visual Anthropology.
– visual fund which includes the materials and films shot by CVA fellows on the project Visual monitoring of the Russian Traditional Cultures (Molokane, 1992-1995, Old Believers, 1993-2007, 900 hours) and also on Psychology, Sociology, Philology, Cultural Studies, Visual, Musical and Theatre Arts (500 hours). It also comprises 500 hours of Russian and foreign films including copies of films present at two Salekhard festivals and three Moscow International Festivals of Visual Anthropology;

CVA participated in Russian and international projects including:

  • federal program Peoples of Russia: Renaissance and Development;
  • federal program and Development of the Russian Culture;
  • Canadian-American program Visual Anthropology of the Northern Russia Peoples;
  • European program INTAS jointly with the Goettingen Institut der Wissenschaftliche Film (IWF) and the Russian State University for the Humanities Locating and Editing the Ethnographic Archival Films in the Russian Archives;
  • Russian-French program of the Open Society Institute on distance education Sonotheque;
  • Russian Foundation of Fundamental Research (RFFI) and Russian (RGNF);
  • Ford Foundation – the project Mobile Workshop of Visual Anthropology;
  • Open Society Institute programn Bridges of Mutual Undertanding – the project Own Alien Face;
  • Cultural Fair of the Volga Region – the project Visual Atlas of the Volga Peoples History.

CVA is interested in cooperation on:

  • exchange and usage of visual funds;
  • video filming and making films;
  • organisation of festivals, conferences, seminars, schools that help to spread in Russia the principles and materials of visual anthropology;
  • creating a universal video computer system that provides filming, saving, exchange, distribution and use of digitalised video information;
  • all the various activities aiming at spreading visual anthropological ideas and materials to foster conditions of open and equal dialogue between different cultures.

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