Date(s) - 23/11/2020 - 24/11/2020
09:00 - 18:00

Olga Bostan


Note: this workshop is offered in an asynchronous format, meaning it can be completed at any time during the workshop weeks in your own time. Please do register in order to receive all materials, however.

Organizer: Olga Bostan

Olga Bostan is a Junior Teaching Fellow at UCM. Her academic interest lies in the field of (qualitative) sociology and cultural and visual anthropology. Together with her colleagues, Olga was involved in creating the documentary Modern Ruins (2018), exploring the topic of sustainable re-purposing of abandoned industrial heritage in the Rhine-Maas region, which developed her interest for visual ethnography.

Workshop description:

The workshop will introduce students to the ways in which they can conduct qualitative research using video as a methodological tool. During the workshop, students will be guided through the three main stages of analytical filmmaking: (i) pre-production, (ii) production, and (iii) post-production. In the pre-production section (i), we will discuss the ways in which a visual research can be structured. In the production chapter (ii), we will focus on the camera use when interviewing subjects and gathering observational footage. In the last part of the session, the post-production phase (iii), a detailed explanation of the ways in which visual data can be coded and analyzed will be given. The workshop aims at presenting analytical films as a valuable means of conducting qualitative research, making the end result accessible to a wider audience as opposed to other forms of research. The workshop will provide multiple examples from the documentary Modern Ruins (2018), created as a part of The Documentary Project at UCM. At the end of the workshop, students will have the chance to carry out a set of practical exercises on various filming techniques, and the possibility to receive feedback after the session.

What are the methodology and/or methods that the workshop will cover?

The workshop will cover qualitative methodology and visual ethnography. By going through the various stages of filmmaking, this workshop will elaborate on the different methodological tools needed to interview subjects, transcribe interviews, and use codes and themes in order to build the storyline of a documentary. Methods will include interviews, participant observation (with visual tools).

To participate in this workshop, you will need to prepare the following material(s):

It is strongly recommended (yet not mandatory) to watch the documentary Modern Ruins (2018) before the workshop. This will help students gain a clearer understanding of the examples that will be provided in the workshop, as well as give them a chance to ask questions based on the film.


At the end of this workshop, you will have obtained the following skills:

At the end of this workshop, students will have learned the basics the three fundamental stages of documentary filmmaking. On top of that, students will have learned how to:
1. Structure visual research.
2. Conduct a qualitative interview on camera as well as gather observational footage.
3. Analyze visual qualitative data (e.g. transcribing interviews, coding them and structuring the final product).
4. The basic principles of the software Atlas.ti.
5. Organize and manage digital files.
6. Use video editing software to build themes and scenes.

Workshop Format:

The session will be pre-recorded and available for students to watch at any point. The session will be followed by a set of visual exercises that students are advised to practice if they intend to use visual methodologies in period 6. They will have the chance to submit their exercises to the workshop organizer and ask for feedback, if necessary.

– – Registrations are currently open for anyone, regardless of whether they are a student in Research Methods 2 or not. Final registrations close on Monday 23 November 2020 at noon. – –


Registrations are currently closed for this event.