Glenn Bowman

        “What You need to do is play games of extending the imagination”( Glenn Bowman, 2011).

Much of what Glenn says in this section of the interview was used within the film itself , all be it in a more abstract capacity.

We hope that this exert from our filmed interview, [which lasted two hours] can give a little more clarity concerning our actual rapport with Glenn. This footage has been far less manipulated and is therefore an interesting source of comparison when considering the heavily edited representation of Glenn within our visual project We Are Anthropologists. It is from the dialogue above that myself and Joshua extracted many of Glenn’s verbal contributions to the film itself. Hopefully, this short clip can give a wider context to the topics of conversation, and the manipulative nature of film making.

Glenn Bowman is one of our senior lecturers at the University of Kent, the experience of Bowman and his teachings inspired much of our film …..

 If you are to review the moments that Glenn appears within our ethnographic film, his brief utterances are in fact for the most part taken from this particular moment in our conversation. We hope that this can offer you the broader understanding of why in the film Glenn appears to be talking about what are seemingly abstract topics amongst an assortment of surreal and chaotic moments. This clip also enables us as film makers to  reflect upon the manipulated nature of our film, and documentary film making in a broader context. The contentious nature of claiming that any filmed material maintains a holistic notion of truth, is epitomized through the construction of We Are Anthropologists. None of the spoken footage is scripted, nor had we meticulously chosen a path for Glenn’s responses to what were very spontaneously inspired questions in an engaging two hour conversation.

An Interview turned Psychoanalysis

 Our time filming Bowman almost felt like a recipricated therapy session, as all three of us took both the role of therapist and patient. Glenn was articulate, engaging and spoke openly about anthropology as a discipline, his fellow colleagues and his own personal journey through both the anthropological field and life itself. Although much of what was said within that two hour conversation will remain private, dammed to the editing room floor, I can say that the seeming ease with which he gave an honest account of some very personal matters only went to further a genuine respect for the man [ although this may have manifested itself in an odd way through the medium of our film ]

Laughter on set**

Bowman: The intimidating tyrant?

At one point Glenn asked if either of us suffered with schizophrenia, regarding the often isolated figure of the anthropologist. It was a surprise for both myself and Joshua to learn that we share much more in common with Glenn than we had initially believed. Building him up in our imaginations as the tyrant powerhouse of anthropological thought at the University of Kent. We had spent many of Bowman’s lectures and seminars [doodling & laughing uncontrollably at the back of the class room] speculating on the impressively articulate mans quirky mannerisms. It was this imaginative thrown of anthropology that Glenn had found himself  sitting upon that made him the key ingredient of academic integrity for our visual project.


The honest and open way in which Glenn had spoken during the interview was littered with colorful language [several obscenities] that Glenn was sure would be used in the final cut of our film, possibly to…… in his own words “fuck him over” or ” get him fired.” This however, would have been a cheap and easy way in which to garantee a reaction. We chose to opt for a more challenging approach, using the more trivial moments within the conversation to weave together a some what manic narrative. By using moments in which Glenn demonstrated his vast array of vocubulary…from FUCK to UNHEIMLICH we hope to have acheived a more balanced reflection of a man who could in no way be fairly represented within ten minutes of footage.


We don't have much time

Over our Heads

The use of footage in which Glenn shows himself to be the capable of conveying some rather complex ideas, is a tool by which we [ as film makers ] were able to demonstrate how his own anthropological analogies have gone completely over our head, leading to the final scene in which we totally misinterpret his suggestion to build a symbolic vehicle to drive the narrative of our thoughts. This is not to suggest that we are academically redundant… Glenn reveals within our interview that he articulates himself to students in a certain manor in order to challenge us to engage with the academic material at our fingertips. Although the characters within the film [who are a representation of a particular element of our personality] may have failed to respond appropriately to Glenn’s challenge, we believe that as film makers this has been done so accordingly.

On the Author of Fucking Tourists

Glenn Bowman studied comparative literature, folklore and folklife, and critical theory in the United States before coming to Oxford in the late seventies to work under Edwin Ardener and Michael Gilsenan at the Institute of Social Anthropology in Oxford.

For more information on Glenn Please visit :


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