Researcher with a movie camera: visual ethnography in the field

Tijana Rakić, Donna Chambers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper seeks to ‘promote’ the use of moving image visual ethnography within tourism research while concurrently acknowledging the methodological and practical challenges inherent in the use of this method. The paper introduces Dziga Vertov's1929groundbreaking film ‘The Man With the Movie Camera’ and argues that a certain parallel can be drawn between the film and contemporary moving image visual ethnography in so far as the latter is, like Vertov's film, about the glimpses of the everyday as perceived by the researcher/filmmaker. Important within this context is the role of the ‘self’ of the researcher, something further explored through a case study of academic filmmaking, a project which investigates the construction and consumption of images of Greekness by visitors to the Athenian Acropolis. This case also highlights the practical challenges involved in adopting this method and investigates various filming techniques which could successfully be used by tourism researchers to either ‘collect data’ or create ethnographic documentaries, which can in turn be used for a range of other academic and pedagogic purposes. The paper concludes that being a ‘researcher with a movie camera’ although challenging can prove to be remarkably fruitful and rewarding, especially in the context of tourism studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-270
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2010


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