Spotlight was the name of a one-week long, on-site summer school which took place in Opole, Poland between 11th and 18th September, which was dedicated to exploring the potential of documentary film making in social sciences as research method and as an instrument of dissemination of research results. It offered an innovative, practice-oriented knowledge to MA and PhD students, empowering them with skills which they can use either in their future research or dissemination.
The summer school was a dream of the four organized by dr. Karina Gaibulina, anthropologist; dr. Ágnes Erőss, geographer, research fellow at the Geographical Institute CSFK and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Opole; Joanna Janikowska, MA, director and editor, Clara Kleiniger-Wanik, MA in visual anthropology, director. The project won the support of the University of St. Gallen in 2021, and the International Visegrad Fund’s (IVF) Small Grant project, the latter is co-ordinated by the CSFK.
The twelve Spotlight participants represented a great diversity in terms of age, education, nationality, and previous experiences with audiovisuality. They arrived from 10 countries (Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh Bosnia and Herzegovina, Columbia, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, UK, USA), studying in master’s or PhD programmes (Peace and Conflict, Multilingualism, Human Geography and Media, Sociology, Anthropology, Art) in European universities (University of Mainz, University of Wroclaw, University of Luxemburg, University of Neuchatel, University of Tromsø, etc.). It was our priority to keep gender balance (50-50% male and female), and recruit students in different stages of their education (MA, PhD).
The students worked in groups of three and produced four short films in less than 3 days. The films were screened first in Kino Meduza, a local art cinema in Opole on 17th September. The screening was successful: many of the protagonists came and participated actively during the event.
The films were selected in the program of the 20th Opolskie Lamy Film Festival as well.
More information about the Spotlight is available on our website and via Facebook. Besides our channels, news about the Spotlight summer school appeared on the website and Facebook of the University of Opole, and the Radio Opole in September.