Twelve Countries and Nine Earths: A visual ethnography of daily consumption practices across cultures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Nine Earths is a collaborative project investigating consumption and climate change, involving participants from 12 countries. We commission artists and filmmakers in each country to film an average day of a young person aged 18-34, viewing their daily practices through the lens of climate and consumption.

I have been conducting a visual ethnography of this footage, to produce films situated between documentary and art film, which address the following questions: What can video collected by artists and young people in different countries tell us about global consumption? How feasible and suitable is remote ethnography for illuminating specific local contexts and making cross-cultural comparisons about consumption practices in relation to climate change?

As an example of what Mead and Métraux (1954) called The Study of Culture at a Distance, the project raises issues of power relations between Eurocentric paradigms and remotely located participants, and between scientists, filmmakers and informants. I will present findings arising from my analysis, regarding what should be recorded and how, and about issues of ‘telepistemology’ in which the ethnographer is separated from the reality of social phenomena, observing and comparing multiple cultures through a process of multiple mediation.

The project investigates ‘decentred subjectivities and the geographical complexities that arise when intimacy no longer necessarily implies proximity’(Law, 2004). The findings will be presented through film clips from various countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of RAI Film Festival 2023
PublisherRoyal Anthropological Institute
Publication statusSubmitted - 2023
EventRAI Film Festival 2023- Online Conference - online
Duration: 6 Mar 202310 Mar 2023


ConferenceRAI Film Festival 2023- Online Conference
Internet address


  • anthropology
  • ethnography
  • visual ethnography
  • Climate change
  • consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • General Arts and Humanities


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