For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
You are using a browser that is no longer supported by Microsoft. Please upgrade your browser. The site may not present itself correctly if you continue browsing.

Cultural and Social Anthropology: Visual Anthropology (track)

Compare programmes

What becomes of anthropology when it is practiced in other media than the written word like photography or film? And what becomes of film and photography when they have anthropological pretensions? The visual anthropology track enables you to explore the possibilities of camera-based research. In Amsterdam, filmmaking and photography never cease to be an intellectual effort, and visual anthropologists will be reading and writing during the course, familiarizing themselves with debates relevant to their particular research topic and setting, as well as with current discussions in the domain of visual anthropology.

Online open day

Do you want to know more about Visual Anthropology? You can visit our online open day page any time to delve into this study programme. Watch videos, talk to students and deepen your knowledge. Or sign up for an online event or open day.

Discover the other Master's tracks in Cultural and Social Anthropology

Study programme

The programme encourages students to creatively explore how new assemblages of words, images, sounds and silences might articulate anthropologically relevant knowledge. The development of a new audio-visual vocabulary, that breaks into existing media formats, and seeks to re-sensitize numbed audiences in our media saturated societies, is one of the underlying agendas of this program. It requires that student enter the program with a solid knowledge of the technical know-how of film and photography.

What is Visual Anthropology?

Prof. Mattijs van de Port explains what Visual Anthropology is.

Academic staff

Long-term immersion in a fieldwork site, which implies the re-socialization of the researcher in other people's life worlds, is the hallmark of all anthropological research. This is no different for visual anthropologists. On the contrary, the best work in visual anthropology is grounded in the trust, intimacy and tacit knowledge that comes with 'deep hanging out'. Students will therefore conduct ethnographic fieldwork, and will develop their research plans together with students who have opted for text-based research. We deem this important, as a visual anthropology should at all times be in dialog with other modes of doing anthropology, and should not be peripheral to the discipline as a whole.

After graduation

As an anthropology graduate, you will need to make a shift towards actively empathising with the wishes and ideas of employers and learning to identify the most effective way to present yourself. The Master's programme in anthropology provides training in these skills. For example, you know how to start a (research) project, how to gain access to specific groups of people and are able to build a network of informants in an unfamiliar setting.

Camera based research

Subject of your own choice

Close-knit community

Is Visual Anthropology for you?

A student specializing in Visual Anthropology partly does what all anthropology students in the Master’s programme do: conducting a well prepared qualitative fieldwork in a wide range of regional, thematic and theoretical specializations that leads to ethnographically rich and theoretically informed results. What is different is how you report and what you produce, as this will be partly audio-visual work and partly textual. It is crucial that you have a profound interest in the field of anthropology and that you feel like investing all your energies in wrestling with Anthropological theory and practice during this master year.

Facts & Figures
Degree programme MSc Cultural and Social Anthropology
Mode Full-time
Credits 60 ECTS, 12 months
Language of instruction English
Starts in September
CROHO code 66614
Location Roeterseiland campus