MA Course Announcement

by | Apr 26, 2018 | X_Archive | 0 comments

Master’s / Graduate Course in Arts-based Ethnography,

Lesvos 2018

15 ECTS credits, Lesvos 17 June – 1 July 2018.

Application deadline: 15 April 2018


In collaboration with international artists and researchers, The Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Agder, Norway, offers a Master’s (graduate) course in Arts-based Ethnography. The practical part of this course will take place in the Greek island of Lesvos from 17 June to 1 July 2018. The ‘home base’ will be UiA’s Metochi Study Centre (, but with participant projects that may approach different sites, institutions or networks across the island.

The term ‘Arts-based ethnography’ is coined to envision a multi-faceted working space between artistic practice and ethnographic research. The idea is Inspired by how, as an example, site-related artistic practice often moves towards ethnographic or anthropological research, and ethnographic researchers are also moving toward contemporary artistic practice through forms of expression, applied scholarship or activism (see attached reading list for further details).

Before and after the stay in Lesvos, there will be online course activities with presentations, supervision and assignments. There will also be a kick-off gathering in Kristiansand, Norway, 27-28 April, with both on-site participants and online presentations, live recordings and documentation for international participants. The module credits will be awarded on the final exhibition and presentation which will take place in September 2018 (see attached course description for details).

Application deadline is 15 April 2018

(Since this may be a short notice for some students, we will consider applicants after this date IF the course is not fully booked by 15 April)

Please send any questions to

Application Procedure

We wish to recruit highly motivated and self-driven students for this course, and the number of participants is limited. Applicants are required to include a letter of motivation with their application, explaining why they wish to be considered, and add a preliminary idea/sketch of the project they would like to carry out in relation to Lesvos (max 1000 words).

Please submit application and letter of motivation to by 15 April and cc: In your email.

The application must include:

  1. Full name
  2. Address
  3. Date of birth
  4. Documentation of relevant graduate study programme enrolment (i.e. where this course may fit in) and/ or relevant background (completed BA programme). “Relevance” means relating to arts and/or ethnography.
  5. e-mail address & mobile phone number
  6. A letter of motivation with a short project sketch/ outline

Practical information


The successful applicants are expected to cover their own travel costs to Lesvos, and a small tuition fee to UiA (NoK 660). Teaching, supervision, accommodation and meals on the course site in Lesvos will be provided for participating students. The students may also need to cover some fieldwork transportation if they exceed the basic budget (depending on their choice of project), and expenses for own choice of artistic materials or documentation.


Student research projects are encouraged to address and collaborate with local sites, institutions, people and narratives of the island. Our local partners will be available to help students establish contacts when necessary.

More on contents and background

We imagine the two weeks in Lesvos as a period of fieldwork, artistic production, mentoring, discussions, lectures and workshops, laying a base for different types of site-related work – individually or in groups – that demonstrates the potentiality of the combined practices of art and research, while also dealing respectfully with the contexts that one encounters.

From the approach of artistic practice, we are considering Miwon Kwon’s (2002) categorisation of what ‘site’ may represent in site-specific art, from the phenomenological (such as places, buildings, landscapes), to the social and institutional (events, places to meet and exchange, social practice) and the discursive (stories, media events, ideas). Hosting such a course in Lesvos will, we envision, open up for all these dimensions.

In recent years Lesvos has become the main transitional route for refugees coming to Europe and has mainly been represented in the media as linked to the refugee crisis, and is, as such, already saturated in images from the global media. With arts-based ethnography we aim to develop alternative approaches to representation, participation and outcome of ethnographic research, and to explore how these approaches may enable different ways of (re)presenting others, that is, enter new conversations about the site itself –through people, institutions and places.

In terms of output and dissemination, the title ‘Arts-based Ethnography’ implies that student research may lead to producing films, podcasts, soundscapes, performative or artistic works, webpages, public scholarship or social action. We are also interested in how arts-based ethnography can be used as a vehicle to present complex issues of representation to audiences outside the walls of academia.

Further information

Please also see the attached formal course description.

The people who will facilitate the course will include:

Course description and preliminary reading list: (Download PDF)


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