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Realising the Impact of Ethnographic Documentary-Project Pouono, Talanoa and Health Communication

Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 237 417 6761 Passcode: 845588 7th April 2021 12.15-1.15 CEST (UTC+2) Swiss Anthropological Association (SAA) Interface Commission

Dr Mike Poltorak is a social, medical and visual anthropologist and has researched in Tonga, New Zealand, UK, Germany and Sweden and published widely on themes related to vaccination, traditional healing, mental illness, public psychiatry and teaching visual anthropology. He has produced four ethnographic documentaries (Fun(d)raising, One Week West of Molkom, Five Ways In and The Healer and the Psychiatrist) based on extensive involvement and feedback processes with the respective communities on themes related to social health, mental health and well-being. The desire to contribute to improving health outcomes in Tonga motivated a ten year project to integrate the insights of research into multi-modal forms of Tongan value. In this presentation he will explore the different kinds of impact revealed and realised through the ethnographic documentary, The Healer and the Psychiatrist and allied interactive transmedia website, Project Pouono made with the Tongan artist, Ruha Fifita. Mike is a Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent and currently lives in Switzerland.

The Healer and the Psychiatrist can be viewed as part of the RAI Film Festival from the 19-28 of March [] or by personal request to

More information and access to Project Pouono can be found here:

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