Bootlegged: Unauthorized circulation and the dilemmas of collaboration in the digital age

Noelle Stout

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recent innovations in digital technologies have exponentially increased the opportunities for collaborative ethnographic filmmaking between anthropologists and our interlocutors. In this article, I focus on a relatively unexplored aspect of these emergent forms of collaboration: the unruliness of circulation in the digital age. I draw on long-standing anthropological debates about controlling the dissemination of taboo cultural motifs to consider how the rapid and promiscuous circulation of digital images and video intensifies these concerns. Reflecting on my experience of collaborative video production with Cuban sex workers and the subsequent unauthorized circulation of these politicized images outside of Cuba, I show how an inability to control distribution presents pressing concerns regarding consent for a growing cadre of anthropologists working in digital mediums.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)177-187
    Number of pages11
    JournalVisual Anthropology Review
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


    • Cuba
    • circulation
    • digital
    • ethics
    • video production

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Anthropology
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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