Midway Conversations 2016: Neighborhood Documentary Projects Premiere


The Spring 2016 visual anthropology class screens a selection of their projects for the neighborhood.

Last night at the Turf Club the Spring 2016 Visual Anthropology Class screened a selection of the work they have been doing with their neighborhood partners this semester. As with previous years the work they shared illustrated the special relationship that many of them have developed with neighbors in the Hamline Midway. The neighbors shared stores, took them into their homes, introduced them to friends and family and demonstrated why our neighborhood is such a special place to live.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the Visual Anthropology class has worked on these projects with neighbors. Work from previous Midway Conversations can be found here: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.

As I remind everyone every year, our class is not training filmmakers, but uses visual methods to learn with members of our community about the place in which we live. The class uses simple digital ethnography equipment and the topics of the projects are determined in collaboration with neighborhood partners. The quality has been improving from year to year, but rough edges are still evident.

Similar to last year, this year we took the final projects and interspersed them with some of the shorter projects that individual students did earlier in the semester. The evening’s schedule of final projects (in bold, below) and five-minute micro-documentaries was as follows:

Intro: This is What I Saw” (5:00, Experiment)
Walking the Dog” (5:00, B&W Silent)
Time In the Midway” (11:27)
Searching for Surplus” (5:00, B&W Silent)
Adopting Pets” (10:23)
Shopping For Dinner” (5:00, Narrated Drama)
Canvases of Art in The Midway” (11:41)
The Dress” (5:00, Narrated Drama)
The Politics of Dog Poop In the Midway” (12:11)
Hamline UMC” (5:00, B&W Silent)

At the end of this year’s presentation I was, once again, so impressed by the willingness of neighbors to volunteer their time to work with students. They really are the ones that make this class possible year after year. Of course I should also be sure to thank the Hamline University Department of Anthropology and the Turf Club.

A selection of past projects and exercises are archived on our YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/HUVisAnth


At the end of the evening members of the 2016 visual anthropology class take to the stage to answer questions.


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