Dr Daniela Vavrova, a creative visual anthropologist



Daniela is currently Adjunct Research Fellow and the director of The AV Lab and ALTAR at James Cook University. Along with her interest in different cultures, she explores the relationship between anthropology and visual communication, between written accounts, photography and ethnographic filmmaking. Since 2005 her field site is situated in Papua New Guinea exploring how people shape and are shaped by their social and cultural environment through their sensory experiences.

Most current study accomplishment: Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy

Download my CV

Anthropological Laboratory for Tropical Audiovisual Research (ALTAR)

The AV Lab of The Cairns Institute


Selected Articles available online:

2020, Brideprice and Prejudice: An Audio-Visual Ethnography on Marriage and Modernity in Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea. Rosita Henry and Daniela Vávrová. Oceania 90(3), 214-233. doi: 10.1002/ocea.5254

2020, Kiap Period Photo Albums, by Laurie Bragge (1961-1967). Catalogue 50 Treasures. Celebrating 50 Years of James Cook University, pp. 70-71.      AND PHOTO BLOG

2018, The Rocking of Canoe and Custom: Shifts in Ambonwari’s Perception of Invisible Realm, Secrecy and Village Hierarchy, in Le Journal de la Société des Océanistes 146 (a special issue ‘The materiality of Sepik societies New visions, old problems’, edited by Philippe Peltier, Markus Schindlbeck and Christian Kaufmann), pp. 55-62.

2016, ‘An Extraordinary Wedding’, Some Reflections on the Ethics and Aesthetics of Authorial Strategies in Ethnographic Filmmaking. Prof Rosita Henry and Daniela Vávrová. AnthroVision 4(1), 1-20. doi: 10.4000/anthrovision.2237

2014, Cinema in the Bush. Journal of Visual Anthropology (27)1-2, pp. 25-44. doi: 10.1080/08949468.2014.852058

2014, Ringing the Living and the Dead: Mobile Phones in a Sepik Society. Borut Telban and Daniela Vávrová. The Australian Journal of Anthropology (25)2, pp. 223-238.

2009, Schools & the Language of Birds. The weekly magazine .tyždeň 30/2009, 27 July, pp. 52-54. In Slovakian language


Documentary Film Awards:

2009                                        Wiley-Blackwell Student Film Prize Commendation at the 11th RAI (Royal Anthropological Institute) International Festival of Ethnographic Film, Leeds, UK, 1-4 July for Enet Yapai. An Ambonwari Girl (2008, 25 minutes), English subtitles, HDV format, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. A part of Mag. Phil. thesis. Filmed, edited and directed by Daniela Vavrova, produced by the Institute of Anthropological and Spatial Studies, Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Distributed by The Royal Anthropological Institute > www.therai.org.uk


2016                                        Student Film Prize at the 13th GIEFF (Göttingen International Ethnographic Film Festival) in Germany, 4 – 8 May for ‘Skin has Eyes and Ears’ Audio-visual Ethnography in a Sepik Society, Papua New Guinea (2014, 83:22 minutes), English subtitles, HDV format, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. Filmed, edited and produced by Daniela Vavrova. This film is an audio-visual part of my written PhD thesis bearing the same title.