Wiza Wetu Abgehakt Forschung Zukunft Wiza Wetu Tod Abgehakt Biodiversity Mema Eparu Tod Wiza Wetu

My main research interests are Visual Anthropology, Political Ecology, Urban Anthropology and the study of homelessness. My geographical focus includes West Africa, southern Africa and the urban space.

I perceive my filmmaking first and foremost as a method of ethnographic enquiry. The process of filmmaking generates new forms of anthropological knowledge which can be communicated through the resulting films. In addition to visual methods, I have thorough experience with other qualitative and quantitative research methods.

For my PhD, which I carried out within the third party project "The Future Okavango" (TFO), I produced a number of films together with rural dwellers in southern African. These films about the villagers' perception of their natural environment and their use of natural resources give a voice to local actors - within the project and beyond. In my dissertation I reflect this work critically, contributing to the discourse on participatory approaches.




Gruber, Martin (in preparation): Liparu Lyetu – Our Life. Participatory Ethnographic Filmmaking in Applied Contexts. unpublished PhD.

Gruber, Martin (in publication): Mediating Cultures: Participatory Filmmaking in Applied Visual Anthropology. In: Future Past – Cultural Heritage and Collaborative Ethnographic Film Work. Crawford, P. I. & B. Engelbrecht, eds. Hoejbjerg: Intervention Press.

Schmidt, L., Domptail, S., Klintenberg, P., Gruber, M., Schmiedel, U., Zimmermann, I., Falk, T. (2013): Transdisciplinary research and stakeholder involvement. A review of the TFO approach. In: Oldeland, J., Erb, C., Finckh, M., Jürgens, N. [Eds.]: Environmental Assessments in the Okavango Region. – Biodiversity & Ecology 5: 195–212. DOI: 10.7809/b-e.00275. (download als pdf)

Gruber, Martin (2012): Henley, Paul: The Adventure of the Real: Jean Rouch and the Craft of Ethnographic Cinema. In: Ethnoscripts 14(1): 197-199.

Gruber, Martin (2010): Film making as an instrument of research communication and capacity development. In: Schmiedel, U., Jürgens, N. [Eds.]: Biodiversity in southern Africa. Volume 2: Patterns and processes at regional scale: pp. 326–331, Klaus Hess Publishers, Göttingen & Windhoek. (download as pdf)

Gruber, Martin (2008): Aufklärungsfilme als Beispiel angewandter Ethnologie? Ethnoscripts 10 (2): 184-190. (download as pdf)

Gruber, Martin (2007): Platzverweis. Obdachlose in der Hamburger Innenstadt. Saarbrücken. (buy here)

Gruber, Martin: Wald, Fluss, Schlange (2007): Neues Museum für außereuropäische Kunst. Musée du Quai Branly in Paris. Ethnoscripts 9 (1): 207-213.

Kokot, Waltraud & Martin Gruber (2007): Betroffene von Räumungsklagen und Verbleib von Zwangsgeräumten: Eine ethnologische Untersuchung zu Lebenssituation und Verbleibsalternativen. Hamburg. (buy here) - (read review here)

Gruber, Martin (2006): Street Magazine, Social Welfare, Soup Kitchen: The Income Strategies of Urban Homeless People in Hamburg/Germany. Ethnoscripts 8 (1): 79-92. (download as pdf)

Kokot, Waltraud & Felix Axster & Martin Gruber & Jochen Becker (2004): Kultur der Obdachlosigkeit in der Hamburger Innenstadt. Eine ethnologische Felduntersuchung. Hamburg.

Gruber, Martin (2002): Parallelwelten. Eine Feldforschung über Obdachlosigkeit in der Hamburger Innenstadt. Ethnoscripts 4 (1): 61-81.

Gruber, Martin (2002): Cinéma Vérité. Vokus 12 (3): 23-31.

Kokot, Waltraud & Felix Axster & Martin Gruber (2002): Kultur der Obdachlosigkeit in der Hamburger Innenstadt. Hamburg.


Presentations and Projects
















Presentation: “Participatory Filmmaking“ at AnthroFilmFestival, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Presentation: “Mediating Cultures: Participatory Ethnographic Filmmaking in Applied Contexts“ auf dem Symposium “Participatory – What Does it Mean?” in Göttingen

Participation at the Postgraduate-Workshop in Visual Anthropology. Monte Verità Ascona, Switzerland

Workshop: “Ethnographic film as a method in the communication of research and development-cooperation” during the Worldfilm Festivals in Tartu.

Jury-member at the Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival.

Commentary on the paper “A European perspective on the use of qualitative methods in the study of homelessness” at the CUHP conference in Brüssel.

Presentation „An Example of Visual Methodology in Action” at the geographic workshop „Visual Materials: Between Representation and Experimentation” at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin.

Presentation „Visual Anthropology in Germany and the UK” at the “Visual Culture Conference” in Chicago.

Conception, organisation and moderation of the workshop „Visual Methods – Visual Theory” at the DGV (German Society for Anthropology) annual conference in Hamburg.