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Anthropology Autumn Seminar Series 2020


The Department of Anthropology’s Autumn seminar series, ‘Anthropology and Double-Consciousness: Moving Between Worlds?‘, begins this week.

The movement across borders and spaces of cultural difference through the practice of ‘fieldwork’ is at the core of anthropology’s self-image. This seminar series problematises this conception of anthropology, responding to the current climate of Covid-19 lock-downs, border controls, and the eruption of global movements for racial justice which have featured prominently on and off university campuses. Taking W.E.B. Du Bois’ notion of ‘double consciousness’ as a starting point we foreground: encounters across difference and inequality within and around the space of the university, forms of both mobility and immobility, and the relation between academia and racial justice, as vital sites of anthropological thought and critique.

Taking place on Zoom, these seminars will be Wednesday 4pm-6pm from 14th October to 9th December 2020.

Read more information on our dedicated Seminar Series page or find more information about each event on our calendar.

Become a Department Rep

Become a department rep and receive a £700 bursary for your time, plus additional benefits. The Student’s Union are currently accepting applications. This is an opportunity for you to get involved with understanding more about the various aspects of student life and academic organisation at Goldsmiths. Your role would involve communicate and coordinate between students and our college managers and decision-makers in order to push changes to improve the student experience.

Find out more about how to apply.

In conversation with – Lidija Burčak, MA Visual Anthropology alumnus

I value a good story that keeps the audience awake, I don’t want to bore them.

We caught up with Lidija Burčak who graduated in MA Visual Anthropology last year and to find out what she has been up to since graduating and how her film ‘Broken Skin’ has made its way around the festival circuit.

Before Goldsmiths, you have lived and worked in UK, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, could you tell us more about what you did before studying MA Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths and has this inspired your visual practice?
I had a lot of different jobs during my twenties because I was searching for something creative that was meaningful to me. At the same time, it was difficult to get into such job because I started my professional career with a vocational education in a Swiss insurance company. After a few internships in media companies and jobs in factories and offices, I decided to go back to school. The Swiss education system allows people to catch up on an academic degree. My plan back then was to study abroad. I was interested in cultural, social issues and how knowledge is generated through visual means. During my studies, I got into the film industry as I had the chance to do an internship as a script supervisor. You can learn a lot about filmmaking and the work on set. I started realising that I wanted to make films in a very personal way but at the time I didn’t have the courage.

Being born in 1983, the time I spent growing up in front of the TV has had a large influence on my visual practice, I watched a lot of films and TV shows. I was able to challenge this common visuality through my film studies in Zurich and Berlin, where I acquired knowledge on film theory and analysis. I was introduced to auto-ethnography and the films of Agnès Varda, which opened up a whole new world for me. But also my jobs in different offices and workplaces influence my visual practice. How people share ideas and visions, how they tell you how their weekend was and what upsets them is beautifully diverse. I didn’t know at that time that these were precious lessons about storytelling.

It was clear to me that Goldsmiths would be an interesting decision. Also because it has a history of visual anthropology that challenges images and the way we see.

Why did you choose to study at Goldsmiths and take our course?
During my studies in Zurich, I was reading Stuart Hall which helped me personally with questions of identity being a child of Yugoslav immigrants in Switzerland. Having working-class parents forced me to read and think about these kinds of issues. It was clear to me that Goldsmiths would be an interesting decision. Also because it has a history of visual anthropology that challenges images and the way we see. At that time I didn’t know that it would be a very fertile ground for my creativity as well. We didn’t have lessons on the creative practice (I don’t know if that exists any-way?), the course was great on an academic level in anthropology but how do you make an interesting film, what do you film and how do you edit? Not having lessons in that area was highly creative in a painful way, I remember that some tutors told me that I will appreciate that process in a few years time.

Since graduating last year, your film Broken Skin has won awards and has started to make its away around the festival circuit. Could you tell us more about these awards and achievements?
The film festival world is a weird industry but I wanted to bring my film to an audience. I found a website that helps you to evaluate your chances to get into festivals called Festival Whizz. Its uses algorithms but there are also real people behind it who watch your film and discuss your strategy. To give you some numbers: I applied to 60 film festivals all around the world which cost me £725 for admission fees. Some of the festivals invite you, pay your ticket and organise accommodation and some festivals offer you a 50% ticket reduction to your own award ceremony, which was funny to hear. No one talks about these things, why not? I found it very interesting. I told myself: this is the first film I did and I will do the whole thing to find out what is really important to me and to check out the scene. Also I could afford it because I had a job. It is great when you have an audience for your film and you can actually discuss the topic and share your experience of the process.

It is great when you have an audience for your film and you can actually discuss the topic and share your experience of the process.

Can you talk to us about Broken Skin, what inspired you to direct a film about skin and more specifically psoriasis?

Photo: ©Renato Csatich

I’ve been a psoriasis-affected person more years than I’ve been an anthropologist. My relationship with this disease was full of fear and helplessness. I tried a lot of things to heal, as many people do. You get into a vicious cycle. But before I came to London I started a therapy which finally helped me: I detoxed my body in a natural way. I was very slowly on my way to heal. I realised that hearing from many doctors “you will have this forever” and “there is nothing we can do” influenced my way of thinking enormously. So from an anthropological point of view, this looked like something interesting to explore. How are stories around a disease told and how is it visually represented? Consequently, what is this doing with me? Who is an expert and who is not? It was interesting to relate to other stories and to find out that I am not alone, which seems obvious today. My goal then was to find images that would not spread fear but could explore psoriasis on different surfaces.

I chose auto-ethnography as a research method because it allowed me to move back-and-forth between my own experience and the accounts of other psoriasis-affected people to find out new ways of relating to this disease, also personally. It was a parallel exploration of this topic which is also visible in the narrative structure of the film. I know that auto-ethnography is being criticised for not being a valuable research method for example because it is supposed to be too narcissistic. However, this method resonates with me especially in order to examine psoriasis where, in my opinion, the self and the relationship to the self is at its core. I think that I worked ethically and honestly. I am a fan of auto-ethnography because it allows me to change and cultivate my personal perspectives not just as a researcher but as a person. I value a good story that keeps the audience awake, I don’t want to bore them.

What is next on the horizon for you?
I need a lot of time to reflect on the last two years and I don’t want to get stressed otherwise I’ll get my psoriasis symptoms back. Some people who watched Broken Skin told me that they could have watched it longer, that the film is too short and has therefore a dense structure. I just started playing with the thought to make a longer version.

If you could give our Anthropology students one piece of advice, what would it be? 

Something very technical: Keep your project and timeline in your editing programme in a clear order, I didn’t do it from the beginning, a lesson I learned along the way. You might still need to work on it or correct something (for a festival for example) months later after you finished it. This helps to access your work in a clear way especially when you are already working on something new.


And two personal things that I discovered: fearful topics have a very interesting potential for personal and creative growth, and I get much more things done if I don’t strive for perfection. That doesn’t mean that the work is not good.

Lidija’s film ‘Broken Skin’ has been nominated for a Grierson Award in the category of Best student Documentary, winners will be announced on 14th November 2019 


Spotlight on….

Rambisayi and Nicole who are currently working with Emma Tarlo and Adom Philogene Heron over the summer period as part of GRIP: Research Internships. We caught up with Rambisayi and Nicole to find out more about what they will be working on over the coming weeks.

Rambisayi, BA Anthropology and Visual Practice 
This summer I have been given the opportunity to intern for Professor Emma Tarlo on a project titled Hair Biographies: How do we relate to the fibre that grows from our heads. This project focuses on people’s relationships to their hair. As an intern I will be employing ethnographic methods including photography, voice recordings and writing to compile a unique collection of personal hair stories. This is a very exciting opportunity for me as I get to be mentored by Professor Emma Tarlo whose work on material culture has inspired me throughout my undergraduate studies. As the project is in collaboration with, and is a part of a larger exhibition commissioned by the Horniman Museum I also get to be mentored by Dr Sarah Bryne, deputy keeper of anthropology at the Horniman Museum. The final output will be a short film that will possibly be shown at a larger exhibition commissioned to Prof. Emma Tarlo by the museum for exhibition in 2021.


Nicole, BA Anthropology and Visual Practice 
I will be working on the GRIP internship within the Anthropology department this summer, titled Anthropology and ‘Decoloniality’ with Dr.Adom Philogene Heron and Dr. Gabriel Dattatreyan. The final research project will be presented in the form of a website. The aim of the site is to host a dialogue about decolonization and its relationship to anthropology as a discipline, articulating efforts to decenter the anthropological canon by questioning established forms of knowledge production and what is considered legitimate within the academic space, including the medium that conveys information itself. Thus, there will be range of ways to channel and challenge ethnographic ideas through alternative forms to conventional academic text (and language), such as photography, film, audio recordings, etc. I am delighted to be part of this project and the ongoing discussion of decolonization in pedagogy, much of what has emerged from recent decentering meetings at Goldsmiths, as well as Goldsmiths Anti-Racist Action group. I am looking forward to interviewing participants, reflecting on my conversations with them, and situating their perspective on a digital space for others to engage with. 

What next? Our tops tips for recent graduates









Your training in Anthropology provides skills, knowledge and sensibilities that are useful in pretty much any sector. Therefore, we have put together a list of top tips for recent graduates which include agencies to check out and books and podcasts to look into to help inspire your exciting journeys ahead.


General Student & Graduate Hubs to check out


Students and new alumni (for up to three years) have access to CareerSPACE at Goldsmiths University, where you can receive professional career advice, networking opportunities and access to jobs listings. Students and alumni can create an account here.



Milkround have an extensive database of graduate jobs, internships and graduate schemes that you can apply for. If you are unsure of what industry to you would like to go into, Milkround can also help in providing advice.

Employment sectors we recommend looking at

Third Sector

Flow Caritas’s main aim is to find new talent and build careers in the UK not for profit Sector. If you are looking to take on a new challenge, Harris Hill can help you find your ideal charity job. Charity People are recruiters who work with some of the biggest and smallest charities in and outside of the UK. Prospectus recruit for roles across every entry point exclusively with the not for profit sector.

Creative Industries, Art and Heritage

If you are looking to apply your anthropology knowledge and set of transferable skills within the creative industry, Creative Skillset work closely with UK based creative industries within varies environment. Join The Dots to be part of a network of ‘Makers Doers, Fixers and Dreamers’. You can upload your own portfolio of work, whether this be a film reel or PDF, you can share your work for future employers or potential collaborators to discover your work! Sign up with Arts Jobs for alerts on the most recent job opportunities within the arts and culture sector with a wide range of job roles. Specifically for Museums, Galleries, Libraries and Archives, do check out Museum Jobs or Heritage Jobs for the latest jobs in the independent heritage sector and beyond.

If you are looking to break into documentary film making, formerly known as Film & TV Pro, Mandy Crew helps you find the best crew jobs in pre-production, production and post-production for films & tv. More than 12,000 film and tv production companies post jobs and search our database to crew their next project

London is full of exciting museums, galleries and educational spaces such at, The Horniman Museum, The Photographers Gallery, South London Gallery, The Natural History Museum, Tate, The National Gallery, The British Museum, The British Library, Imperial War Museum, Barbican, The V&A, Southbank Centre and so many more! For current work opportunities check out their websites.

Health Sector

TPP are a UK based IT company whoes mission is to transform healthcare by improving access and empowering patients. Check out their jobs page for current vacancies and internship opportunities. Eden Brown are a recruitment agency who specialise in finding jobs within the charity and not for profit sector.



UK Government & International

Are you looking to promote a wider knowledge of the UK internationally and make positive contributions in and outside of the UK. If so, we would advise checking out The British Council who work with over 100 countries across multiple sectors.

The Civil Service offer a graduate entry scheme to help fast track leadership roles within the Civil Service. The Government Social Research profession within The Civil Service supports the development, implementation, review and evaluation of government policy. The Foreign Commonwealth Office are responsible for protecting and promoting British interests around the world. To check out the most recent opportunities with the FCO you can visit their twitter page @fcocareers.

For local government opportunities check out Jobsgopublic in public and not for profit sectors.

Digital Communications

Looking to branch out into the communications sector, Only Digital Jobs  are a niche UK jobs board dedicated to digital, web, social media and ecommerce.





Stay engaged! 

Looking for new material on how you can apply your anthropological training to your future career? We highly recommend reading ‘What Anthropologists Do’ by Veronica Strange (Berg Publishers). In each chapter Strange explores a different employment sector, asking how anthropology can be applied Advocacy, Aid, Environment, Health, Art and other career sectors.

Additional books on applying anthropology to the world of work:

Listen to AnthroPod, a podcast created by the Society for Cultural Anthropology where each episode explores what anthropologists and anthropology can teach us about people and the world.  A Story of Us was created by a group of anthropology graduates from The Ohio State University. The group explore who anthropologists are, what their role is and why it is important. The Story of Us is presented with the aim of increase the interest and understanding of anthropology.

Meet Anthropology’s Department Reps!

Department Reps are students just like you who are interested in your experience at Goldsmiths, and will regularly attend committees and meetings with staff members to feedback on issues good and bad. As a result of their work changes are regularly made across the college on matters students feel strongly about. In the past, they have produced research on issues such as learning and teaching, use of campus space, hidden course costs and employability.


Lauren Haley
UG Department Rep

Hi we are the reps for anthropology, this year; me and Charlotte are the Department Reps and Yosra is the accessibility and inclusion rep.We are the link to get your voices heard within the department and the university as a whole, with successful reports going on to make minor/significant changes and agreements within the uni over the past 5 years. We are going to run a feedback forum through Facebook and Whatsapp (coming next week), drop ins, and excursions throughout the year, don’t hesitate to get in touch!




Charlotte Vergette
UG Department Rep

I applied to be a department rep because I want to make sure students in the department are supported and feel heard and that their input not only matters but is enacted.




Yosra Elhamamy 
Accessability and Inclusion Rep

Here is an interesting fact about Yosra!

I’m bilingual and have set myself a challenge to learn a bit of every language by the end of 2017!



Spotlight on student: Hermione Russell, MA Visual Anthropology

Still from Hermione Russell’s film ‘India Hope: A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman’










Following a competitive submission period, Hermione Russell’s film ‘India Hope: A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Woman’, has been selected to premiere at the 75th anniversary of Listen to Britain 2017 on 17th September at the BFI Southbank, shortly to be followed on BBC4 on 24th September at 9pm.

Hermione’s film is a portrait of a 24 year old female poet and artist with Down’s Syndrome.  Through the affecting and sometimes brutal honesty of her words we encounter a young woman who refuses to be contained within the moniker of a syndrome. In listening to these words we encounter an alternative perspective, which invites us to consider the value of both our differences and our similarities.

For more information please visit BBC website and Wingspan Productions.

Guest blog post- Bethany Loft, second year Anthropology and Media & Communications student

Photo credit to TEDxUCLWomen

My name is Bethany and I’m about to enter my second year of studying Anthropology & Media at Goldsmiths. I found out about the opportunity to join the TEDxUCLWomen 2017 team through the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths and am now on the hospitality team for this year’s event. Our team organises the warm up event, the catering and the goody bags as well as being responsible for the attendees’ experience on the day.

TEDxUCLWomen is in its fourth year and is run solely by volunteers. There’s a great atmosphere and collaborative spirit between the team and you get the opportunity to learn and develop the necessary skills to help create such an awesome event. Whilst TEDxUCLWomen is primarily based around UCL and their community, there are people involved from many other universities and we hope to broaden the reach of the event further this year.

Photo credit to TEDxUCLWomen

TEDxUCLWomen have created an event that enables the sharing of ideas and knowledge and creates a space where changing opinions, empowering individuals and building a community is possible. The event is happening in November and we aim to make it as accessible and inclusive as possible. The theme for the event this year is ‘home’, it’s a really relevant topic to current events and the (unreleased) speaker list reflects upon many of the challenges and great progress that is happening.


Photo credit to TEDxUCLWomen

Taking part in TEDxUCLWomen is a rewarding experience for many reasons, working amongst a team of incredibly talented individuals who work hard to create a wide-reaching event is a great initiative.  As part of the team, we get to suggest potential speakers and help shape the experience of the attendees in ways which matter to us. Knowing how much thought and work goes into planning and selecting the speakers and the event, I have to recommend coming and seeing for yourself all the amazing speakers which will be there!

You can stay updated about the exciting announcements to be made through the Facebook Event Page. For more information about TEDxUCLWoman please visit their Facebook and Twitter page.