We are pleased to be soon hosting Dr. Andrew Gilbert, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Senior Researcher at the Ethnography Lab of the University of Toronto, Mississauga.
Andrew Gilbert has a PhD from University of Chicago and has been doing research in Bosnia and Herzegovina for nearly 20 years. His forthcoming monograph “International Intervention and the Problem of Legitimacy: Encounters in Postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina” is an ethnographic analysis of international intervention as a series of open-ended, innovative, and unpredictable encounters across difference and inequality.
Dr. Andrew Gilbert will share with us a collaborative research project on new forms of labour activism that are emerging in Bosnia-Herzegovina amid the disappearance of mass industrial employment. The research involves Dr. Larisa Kurtović from University of Ottawa as well as a Bosnian illustrator.
Title: Labors of Representation: A Bosnian Workers’ Movement and the Possibilities of Collaborative Graphic Ethnography
This talk considers the affordances of the graphic or comics form of representation for projects of militant research, in which anthropologists aim to both investigate and contribute to social struggles. To do so I draw upon my ongoing collaborative efforts to produce an experimental graphic ethnography focused on the iconic struggle of the workers at the Dita detergent factory in the Bosnian city of Tuzla, which has become a kind of test-case for the possibilities and limits of a new labor politics in this post-socialist and post-war region. Workers have long recognized the politics of representation surrounding their struggle, and lamented that the existing formats available to them—mostly traditional mass news media—are limited in what they communicate. Thus, like the workers and activists who worked with them, my collaborators and I are interested not only in producing forms of knowledge that capture their struggle but which also might catalyze future action by opening up and giving flight to new horizons of political imagination.