Following The Wires Seminar

21 February 2017 |University of Bath



Dr Maria Kastrinou
Dr Daniele Rugo 
[Brunel University London]

“In this seminar we will discuss the findings from our first fieldwork trip in Lebanon for the project ‘Following The Wires’, funded through the AHRC/ESRC Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research”

Combining filmmaking, sociology and anthropology, this project follows the wires that crisscross the skyline and buildings of Beirut to articulate the impacts of electricity disruption on everyday life. The electricity infrastructure and the responses to its failures will serve as a lens to make sense of the lived and material legacy of the conflicts that have affected Beirut. Discrepancies in access to energy will be used to articulate the lasting impact of conflicts on everyday lives and the urban environment.

One of the primary outcomes of the project is the production of a feature-length documentary film. Structured around a set of characters and their everyday interactions with the networks of electricity supply, the documentary will pay equal attention to interactions between subjects and to the material infrastructures that are entangled in these interactions. The film will rely on the metaphorical richness of electricity as a symbol of modernity and urbanisation to capture how the disruption of electricity evokes a larger failure.

Since ‘Following The Wires’ builds on innovative approaches from visual methodologies, the seminar will discuss the impact of these methodological interactions on research design, fieldwork and data analysis.

About the Speakers:

Dr Maria Kastrinou is Lecturer in Anthropology at Brunel University London. Her research focuses on sect and state relations, energy, and Syrian refugees in the Middle East and South-Eastern Mediterranean. She conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Syria and is the author of the recently published book Power, sect and state in Syria (2016).

Dr Daniele Rugo is Senior Lecturer in Film at Brunel University London. His research interests are in documentary practice, film-philosophy and world cinema. He is the author of two books: Philosophy and the Patience of Film (2016), Jean-Luc Nancy and the Thinking of Otherness (2013) and is editing a volume on American filmmaker James Benning (forthcoming with EUP, 2017).

This event is supported by the Conflict, Security & International Order research cluster. 

For further information about this and other Cluster Seminars at The University of Bath, please visit their website.