Anthropological Laboratory

for Tropical Audiovisual Research

The Cairns Institute, James Cook University


We are a laboratory for communicating the heard and seen across the tropics.

We value the camera as a technology of sensuous encounter and social engagement.

We encourage dialogic approaches and collaborative productions

between researchers and communities.

Concerned with socio-cultural specific forms of perception and expression,

we welcome innovative approaches to audiovisual methods in ethnographic research,

including experimental approaches working between image and text.


ALTAR supports research outcomes in different audiovisual forms, including:

Ethnographic films and videos

Community-based video and art projects

Photographic essays

Exhibitions and installations

Soundscapes and other audio works

Audio and/or visual content for websites


Ultimately, our aim is to foster new ways of knowing and relating to others, using

audiovisual technologies as a means of apprehending—and responding to—the

lifeworlds and values of the people with whom we work.