Willi Lempert's research is focused on the social life of Indigenous Australian filmmaking and is based on years of ethnographic research in the Kimberley region of Northwestern Australia since 2006. He follows the lifecycles of dozens of film projects through daily collaboration within production teams in order to understand the stakes of Aboriginal self-representation embedded within the process of filmmaking itself. He is interested in the paradoxical relationship between the production of films that vividly imagine hopeful and diverse Indigenous futures, and the current widespread defunding of Aboriginal communities and organizations. His upcoming projects focus on films about Aboriginal sign language, as well as the epidemic of ear infection-induced hearing loss in Indigenous Australian communities.
2018 “Generative Hope in the Postapocalyptic Present.” Cultural Anthropology 33(2):202-212.
2014 “Decolonizing Encounters of the Third Kind: Alternative Futuring in Native Science Fiction Film.” Visual Anthropology Review 30(2):164-176.
2013 “ ‘Last Night all the Synagogues in Germany were Burned’: Intimacy and Ethnographic Practice in a Familial Life History.” Journal of Contemporary Anthropology 5(1):68-75.
2012 “Telling Their Own Stories: Indigenous Film as Critical Identity Discourse.” The Applied Anthropologist 32(1):23-32.
- PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
- MA, Cultural Anthropology, University of Denver
- BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, Miami University