"This is my Face": Audio-visual practice as collaborative sense-making among men living with HIV in Chile

  • Angélica Cabezas Pino

Student thesis: Phd


The research project ´This is my Face: Audio-visual practice as collaborative sense-making among men living with HIV in Chile´ is an interdisciplinary project that explores ´collaborative mise en-scène´ as a method to further understand the sense-making processes around the biographical disruption caused by HIV. It combines Anthropology and Arts methods as part of the PhD in Anthropology, Media and Performance, a practice-based program that fosters interdisciplinary approaches to the production of original knowledge, based on self-reflexive and critical research practices (The University of Manchester, 2018). Relying on the specific competences of photography and film and the co-creation of an ethnographic context based in hermeneutic reflexivity, the collaborators on the project created and explored representations of critical life events, in order to make sense of the disruption HIV brought to their lives. The collaborators were highly stigmatised individuals living with HIV, which hindered their possibilities for sharing narratives and for reflection, and as such, made it more difficult for them to come to terms with a diagnosis they described as a ´fracture´ in their lives. This project analyses the creative process of ´collaborative mise-en-scène´ as a way to provide further opportunities for reflexivity and sense making, a method that departs from their everyday face-to-face encounters as means of understanding what they are going through. Representations of life events emerged from our practice, as well as evocations, which provided a means by which to understand their experiences with HIV, and opened up ways to resignify their past experiences and projections of the future. Photography and film offered their specific expressive competences to the project, but also gave the possibility of making visible the collaborators´ experiences in order to promote a dialogue with others, moving beyond our creative encounters. Therefore, their evocations became ´statements´ of what it means to live with HIV in Chile, and at the same time, by taking part in its creation, it provided access to the particularities of the sense-making process in which those images were embedded. This collaborative creative process opened up ways to highlight the relevance for sense-making in face-to-face encounters, demonstrating that hermeneutic reflexivity as a practice-based form of mutual questioning can promote a critical engagement with life trajectories and with others beyond our practice.
Date of Award31 Dec 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJohannes Sjoberg (Supervisor) & Andrew Irving (Supervisor)


  • trauma
  • Sarah Pink
  • Angelica Cabezas
  • Photobook
  • Russian formalists
  • Andrew irving
  • This is my face
  • enstrangement
  • homosexuality
  • anthropology,media and performance
  • homophobia
  • antiretroviral therapy
  • post-dictatorship
  • participatory action research
  • Puente Alto
  • Lemebel
  • men
  • pain
  • Johannes Sjoberg
  • machismo
  • Paul farmer
  • Maggie O'Neill
  • Mattia fumanti
  • Mary Warnock
  • suffering
  • Henri Lefebvre
  • Luke Eric Lassiter
  • Susan Hogan
  • Erving Goffman
  • Orlando Fals-Borda
  • Michael Bury
  • Susan Sontag
  • Edward Casey
  • Jay Ruby
  • Viktor Shklovsky
  • Bordwell and Thompson
  • Michel De Certeau
  • Smith and Watson
  • Cathy Caruth
  • Marc Auge
  • Philippe Lejeune
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Alan Radley
  • tactics
  • public anthroplogy
  • ethics
  • reflexive Ethnography
  • hermeneutic reflexivity
  • reflexivity
  • collaboration
  • collaborative ethnography
  • collaborative Anthropology
  • ethnographic Film
  • autobiography
  • collaborative mise-en-scene
  • photo
  • documentary Film
  • practice-based
  • strategies
  • life disruption
  • HIV stigma
  • stigma
  • sense Making
  • collaborative
  • HIV
  • Chile
  • self-reflexive
  • visual Anthropology
  • visual methods
  • interdisciplinary
  • applied anthropology
  • medical anthropology
  • imagination
  • memory
  • experiences
  • evocations
  • face-to-face
  • storytelling
  • disclosure
  • collaborators
  • photography
  • ethnographic images
  • narratives
  • illness
  • practice based
  • co-creation
  • ethnographic context
  • chronic illness
  • representation

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