About Us

Who we are

Visual Research Network

Visual Research Network

We envision multimodal audiovisual research as devoted to pushing the boundaries of representation and observation and beyond that, as an instrument to oppose standardisation, to challenge dominant views and narrations, to cross-fertilise culturescapes and to promote transcultural dialogue. These principles are at the foundation of the network of artists, filmmakers, and researchers we are building.

Our starting point is in visual anthropology, however, to enrich our practices toward new disciplinary horizons, we advocate for a visual, sonic, experimental, and more widely multisensory cross-disciplinary knowledge. We want the VRN to be a point of connection open to everyone interested, which offers opportunities for meetings, engagement and organising future initiatives. 

The VRN team aims to organise an annual international event which consists of a 5 day residency where researchers and artists can co-create, followed by a two-day conference. The aim of this event is to channel and showcase new approaches that audio-visual practitioners, practice researchers and visual ethnographers are currently employing in their work.

Work produced in the residency is exhibited at the conference. This scheme stimulates participant engagement and generates collaborations, feedback and ideas. As a result, participants of our event as well as those practising or interested in audio-visual research are invited to join our mailing list where we share ongoing projects and events.

The first and second editions of the VRN conference were held at the University of Manchester, in September 2018 and 2019. Both editions included keynote speakers, 20 academic presentations, film screenings and large exhibitions of audiovisual content. They attracted over 200 participants and considerate attention from visual researchers around the world. The third edition, in 2022, continued the collaboration with the Granada Centre of Visual Anthropology, and we co-organised with the Estonian National Museum in Tartu. The residents produced 4 short films and the conference attracted 33 international presenters for panels, film screenings and discussions.