Interweaving Contemporary Art and “Traditional” Crafts in Ethnographic Research

  • Katerina Konstantinou Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences
  • Aris Anagnostopoulos Ph.D., School of European Cultures and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury - Heritage Management Organization (Greece).
Keywords: community engagement, participatory ethnographic method, art-based methods, artistic research, cultural heritage engagement

Abstract

This article presents a fieldwork collaboration between contemporary art, “traditional” craft, and ethnographic research in which community engagement plays a key role. Two decades after the abandonment of weaving in a depopulated mountainous village of Crete, Greece, a group of researchers invite an artist to turn the village’s old school into a weaving studio. Aiming at the active participation of the local community in weaving heritage interpretation, and the interdisciplinary collaboration of art and anthropology, the weaving studio experience provides a fertile ground for discussing the relationships between disciplines, the difficulties of crossing the boundaries of these disciplines and the challenges of community participation in managing knowledge production. Here we discuss our experience working with an artist in a project between art and research, including various observations, different approaches, and challenges.

Author Biographies

Katerina Konstantinou, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences

Katerina Konstantinou is a PhD candidate of Social Anthropology at Panteion University in Athens. She is an art historian and holds a Master’s degree in Curating. Her research interests focus on the intersection of the fields of contemporary arts, anthropology, and heritage studies. Lately, she has been closely collaborating with artists in various projects that involve research methods and practices into the art-making processes.

Aris Anagnostopoulos, Ph.D., School of European Cultures and Languages, University of Kent, Canterbury - Heritage Management Organization (Greece).

Aris Anagnostopoulos holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Kent. He has trained as a historian at the University of Leicester. His post-doctoral work is in the interdisciplinary field of archaeological ethnography. His research interests focus on the politics and poetics of the material aspects of the past in the present; he has also published extensively on the creation of public space in early 20th century Crete. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with several archaeological projects, including the Kalaureia Project in Poros, Greece, and Koutroulou Magoula at Neo Monastiri, Fthiotida, Greece. He has been the director and principal instructor of the Archaeological Ethnography Summer School in Gonies, Crete since 2014. He currently works as a public programs director with the Heritage Management Organization, holds a Honorary Lectureship at the University of Kent, and is teaching at the Heritage Management MA (Kent & AUEB) in Elefsina as well as the Anthropological Research Laboratory at Panteion University, Athens.

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Published
2019-02-27