Anunțuri Conferință Evenimente


SPOTLIGHT: Staring at People. Interdisciplinarity and ambiguity of playing with the visibility of humans in cities

Date: 16 September 2024, UNATC (I. L. Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film) Bucharest, Romania
Organizers: UNATC & University of Opole
Contact persons: dr. Michał Wanke, UO, dr. Anna Vlad, UNATC, dr. Elena Belciu, CINETic UNATC

SPOTLIGHT Summer School will be held in Bucharest, organized by the University of St. Gallen and co-hosted by New Europe College and UNATC  (I. L. Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film) on 8 – 15 September 2024. This is the third edition of SPOTLIGHT, which deals with audiovisual capturing of social phenomena in urban spaces in Central and Eastern Europe, such as identity of place (Opole, Poland in 2022), migration and diversity (Józsefváros, Budapest, Hungary in 2023) and architecture and city dwelling (Bucharest, Romania in 2024). Co-organized interdisciplinarily between visual anthropology, human geography, sociology and documentary filmmaking, it offers an immersive experience for the participating students from all over Europe.

This year, the Summer School will conclude with a conceptual seminar held at UNATC on Monday, September 16, 2024. The organizers would like to take the practical and empirical endeavor one step further and produce an apropos discussion together with a publication on the following topics.

All seminar topics stem from the practice of doing visual art or conducting visual research with human beings in cities. This intersection is blurry as it brings together the means of production and the end product in a rapidly changing environment. Because visual research is meant to be seen, issues of representation, anonymity and ethics are even more salient. Insert urban space and architecture, the foci of the SPOTLIGHT summer school, and many fascinating issues unfold in the process: when is it justified to use cameras in public spaces and how is consent managed? What particular knowledge can audio-visual methods contribute to the exploration of the manifold use/interpretation/appropriation of space? Is visibility in the urban fabric a blessing or a curse – considering the needs of activism in the city but also the desire not to stand out in cases of squatting, evictions or discrimination? How can we cope with the risk of misrepresentation?

The seminar, thus, has an ambition to discuss the following: interdisciplinarity of arts, filmmaking and social science; visibility in the city; sociability of the architectural forms; ethics and quality of visual research.


  • Interdisciplinarity between visual artists or scholars and social researchers: inspirations and contributions from the fields across the disciplinary border.
  • Visibility of city dwelling: social issues and their visual consequences: from stigma to symbolic landscapes.
  • Sociability of architecture – the intersections of the design ideas and forms and the social practices.
  • Quality and ethics of visual research: challenges and solutions of the interplay of high density and low privacy interventions.

Format: a multi thread dialogue

  • 4-6 papers, each followed by a response and a discussion
  • Each selected paper will be followed by a response by a selected interlocutor.



  • Book proposal (as a response to a call or a standalone proposal)
  • Structure “dialogues”: substantial editorial; 4-6 chapters + 4-6 comment papers.

Call format:

  • Open to invited partners
  • Proposals ought to be consistent with the themes to ensure cohesion of the seminar and publication
  • Two rounds: for the original papers and for the interlocutors

Deadlines & time horizon:

  • Deadline for proposals July 22, 2024.

Email abstract proposals to: Please, observe the 3000 characters limit and attach keywords.

  • Call for interlocutors in July
  • Deadline for paper extended abstracts in August (upon request from the editors).
  • Deadline for interlocutors’ abstracts by September 9, 2024.
  • Seminar on 16ht  September
  • Editorial meeting in October
  • Book or SI proposal in end of October
  • Submission deadlines subject to the publication arrangements