Christian Vium (born 1980) is a Danish anthropologist, photographer and filmmaker. He holds a PhD and currently he is associate professor at Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University. He has won several international awards Lensculture Emerging Talent 2015 Grant Winner, including the HSBC Prix Pour la Photographie 2015 for his long-term project ‘Ville Nomade’. Christian Vium is a FOAM Talent 2015 and is on the Critical Mass 2015 list. He primarily works on long-term projects directed in participatory observation and experimental collaboration, investigating the intersection between art, documentary, and the social sciences across multiple platforms.
Christian Vium was invited by the programme committee to be part of the 2017 Copenhagen Photo Festival: Photo City with his project ‘Revelations’ which explores the western representations of the cultural ‘other’ across time and cultures in Australia, Brazil and Siberia. In 2015, Vium retraced the journey of German photographer Albert Frisch, who in 1867 travelled 1,800 kilometres downstream on the Solimões River from the border between Brazil, Columbia and Peru to the city of Manaus. Frisch produced some of the first photographs in the Amazon. 150 years after Albert Frisch’s journey, Vium invited descendants of the people in the original photographs to engage in a dialogue around these vanished gazes. Together new photographs were made in which appropriate and contextualised the original material.
‘Revelations’ is an appendix to the second chapter of the archive-based visual anthropological research project ‘Temporal Dialogues’. Through this project, photography and films are explored as collaborative and improvisational practices to establish cross-cultural dialogue and generate qualitative knowledge in the junction between archives, fields, interlocutors and researchers. The ambition to create a space which people in front of the camera are invited to perform themselves and present their worldviews and opinions on matters relating to cultural encounters across time, destabilizing the colonial gaze and reframing history.