Storytelling is a creative act, an imaginative performance and political articulation that embodies lived experiences. We use the power of stories to share how differences, pains, pleasures and happiness of others can be narrated. Our anthropological storytelling combines creative nonfiction writing, theoretical thinking and ethnographic sensibilities. Therefore, we base our hands-on anthropology in learning-by-doing. Our hands-on anthropology moves beyond disciplinary limits and includes anyone with interests in sociocultural interactions and lived experiences. It makes no difference if you are students of medicine or social sciences, we believe you can tell stories through skills that you will gain through hands-on anthropology.
We get down to the details life and try to sense how life is crafted through social interactions. Our hands-on anthropology encourages the storytellers to stand and take a scientific and political position. The storytellers and hands-on anthropology take positions to show how stories are forefronts of political resistance.
Hands-on anthropology and storytelling was designed and proposed by Dr. Younes Saramifar to the department of Anthropology and Summer School of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 2015. Since then colleagues who share similar interests in anthropological stories and political force of storytelling come together during the course. Everyone pitches in and teaches how stories are collected, shaped, analyzed and conveyed through a scientific framework. Students learn how to observe, conduct interviews, code their fieldnotes and then frame them into creatively narrated stories. This summer school applies creative and experimental teaching methods to encourage students to think reflexively and imaginatively.
Students must deliver a story either written or visually depicted (movies, comics strips, etc.) to pass the course. They receive a passionate care and support from teachers till the last day when they leave us. We teach this summer school out of love and passion for stories, desire for political change and strong dedication to produce critical thinkers. We hope to create a platform for critical thinkers who can communicate the social challenges in an accessible language to the world outside the universities.