Nicholas Barber, Ph.D candidate, Anthropology
nicholas [dot] barber [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Email): nicholas [dot] barber [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca
RESEARCH AND PROFESSIONAL INFORMATION
Research Interests: Anthropology of Development, Legal Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, Indigenous Media, Indigenous Rights, Participatory Video.
Project Title: Baka Representation: Rights, Videomaking, and Indigenous Identity in Southeast Cameroon
Project Description: This project explores the relationship between Baka indigenous filmmakers in Eastern Cameroon and the global indigenous “mediascape” (Appadurai 1996). Drawing on theories of global “indigenism” (Niezen 2003) and indigenous media (e.g. Ginsburg 1991), the research examines how enterprising Baka are engaging in strategic self-representation in order to achieve specific socio-political objectives, including establishing claims to land and other resources, increasing political visibility domestically and abroad, and consolidating claims to indigenous identity. Employing a multi-sited methodology that travels between local and “global” sites of media production and circulation, the project examines both the impact of mediamaking on local Baka identities and lifeworlds, and seeks to provide an account of the global indigenous “mediascape” through the lens of Baka mediamaking. The latter aspect of the project is particularly important as, while there is a sizeable and growing literature on the topic of indigenous media, as of yet there has been no comprehensive study of an African indigenous media project. An examination of Baka mediamaking thus provides a novel perspective, revealing new terrains and features of global indigenism and indigenous media.
Supervisor: Dr. Ronald Niezen
Previous Education: M.A International Affairs, The New School; BA hon. Development/Political Studies, Queen's University