Lorenzo Ferrarini

Lorenzo Ferrarini


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Personal profile


I completed a postgraduate degree at the University of Milan-Bicocca in 2008. I then moved to Manchester, where in 2014 I received my PhD in Social Anthropology with Visual Media with a research on donso hunters in Burkina Faso. My dissertation looked at the relationship between knowledge, perception and environment among these initiated hunters, with a specific focus on apprenticeship and experience. I usually teach a module on ways of knowing in Mande Africa, part of an introductory course on photography and anthropology, an MA visual anthropology course called Beyond Observational Cinema and a short course in ethnographic documentary for beginners.

My latest book is Sonic Ethnography, written with Nicola Scaldaferri and published with Manchester University Press.

I started working in documentary film, photography and sound recording at the LEAV - Ethnomusicology and Visual Anthropology Lab at the University of Milan since 2005. Among my documentaries are KALANDA - The Knowledge of the Bush, a documentary film on donsoya, the knowledge of initiated hunters in Burkina Faso, and the recent Living the Weather, on people’s everyday experiences of the weather and seasons in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire. I am also currently working on The Sambla Baan, a film on the music of the Sambla people of Burkina Faso.

Research interests

Regional specialisation: 

Mande Africa, especially Western Burkina Faso.

Topical interests:

Hunting, ecological perception, the senses, sound, phenomenology and embodiment.

I work in documentary film, photography and sound recording.


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  • Best Ethnographic Film

    Ferrarini, Lorenzo (Recipient), 19 Nov 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Commendation for RAI Film Prize

    Ferrarini, Lorenzo (Recipient), 19 Jun 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • ICTM Book Prize

    Ferrarini, Lorenzo (Recipient), 24 Jul 2021

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography

    Ferrarini, Lorenzo (Recipient), 14 Nov 2021

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Werbner Award for Visual Ethnography

    Ferrarini, Lorenzo (Recipient), 19 Jun 2015

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)