Please note that this website is still a ‘work in progress’ and that a definitive version will not be available until the end of 2021. Until then all posts should be regarded as provisional and subject to correction.

 Publications arising from the Silent Time Machine project

The making of an ethnographic film of the Hopi Snake Dance in August 1898: a reconstruction from the photographic and textual record (with Peter Whiteley). Manuscript submitted to the journal Visual Anthropology.

Un peu de lumière dans les ténèbres ? Une évaluation des films de l’Expédition Matto Grosso de 1931 en tant que reportages ethnographiques (with Sylvia Caiuby Novaes and Edgar da Cunha).  To appear in Le cinéma d’expédition: une zone de contact cinématographique, ed. Caroline Damiens, currently in press with AFRHC and Éditions Musée Quai Branly, Paris.

Beyond observation : a history of authorship in ethnographic film. Manchester University Press (2020) The first two chapters deal with films of ethnographic interest made before 1940. Free download available here

From Vues to Ethnofiction : French Ethnographic Film-making before Jean Rouch. Visual Anthropology 33 (1) : 32-80 (2020) https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2020.1696126

Avant Jean Rouch: Le cinéma “ethnographique” français tourné en Afrique subsaharienne. Journal des africanistes 87 (1-2) : 34-62 (2017)

The first ethnographic documentary? Luiz Thomaz Reis, the Rondon Commission and the making of Rituais e Festas Borôro (1917). Visual Anthropology 30 (2) : 105-146 (with Sylvia Caiuby Novaes & Edgar da Cunha, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2017.1276383

From Documentation to Representation: recovering the films of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Visual Anthropology 26(2): 75-108 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2013.751857

Thick Inscription and the Unwitting Witness: Reading the Films of Alfred Haddon and Baldwin Spencer. Visual Anthropology 26(5): 383-429 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1080/08949468.2013.834790

General & Multiregional



Premier catalogue sélectif international de films ethnographiques sur l’Afrique noire. UNESCO/Paris (1967)
This catalogue is the ‘classical’ source on ethnographic film in sub-Saharan Africa and it is downloadable here.

Near East, Central Asia & Russia

South Asia

Southeast Asia

China, Japan & Korea

Arctic & Circumpolar Regions

North America

Central America, Caribbean, Andes

Amazonia & Lowland South America

Australasia & Oceania