Dr Camilla Morelli

BA(Rome), MA(Manch.), PhD, PhD(Manch.)

  • BS8 1UU

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Personal profile

Research interests

email: camilla.morelli@bristol.ac.uk

I am an anthropologist of childhood & youth, specialising in child-centred participatory methodologies. My research examines how children and young people’s imaginations, play and everyday interactions are powerful catalysts for social and economic change, recognising children & youth as dynamic agents who drive their societies towards new and uncharted horizons.

I am especially interested in exploring ethnographically how children and young people imagine the future, asking what are the key challenges they face towards the adulthoods they desire and implementing impact strategies to make these desires attainable. In collaboration with professional animators, I have developed a methodological approach based on co-production of ethnographic animation, i.e. animated films written by young research participants and blending real-life experiences with imaginary scenarios. I use this as a central method in my ongoing projects to elicit and amplify youth voices from a plurality of contexts.

For the past 12 years, I have been conducting ethnographic fieldwork with Matses people in Peruvian Amazonia, examining how Matses children play a key role in the ongoing transition from hunter-gatherer lifestyles in the rainforest towards urban livelihoods and money-based economies. The main findings from this research are the subject of my forthcoming monograph, “Children of the Rainforest” (Rutgers University Press, 2023).

I am currently leading two research projects based on co-production of ethnographic animation:

“Waves of Change” (funded by the AHRC-UKRI and others) 

This project engages young people in coastal communities the UK and Latin America Cornish in environmental and climate change research, addressing their views on coastal futures and finding creative strategies to tackle the key challenges they face. Through co-production of coastal animations, we are eliciting young people's views of the environment and coastal futures in times of climate emergency, and helping share their stories with the public, policymakers and the media. The project is co-led by Professor Daniela Schmidt (Earth Sciences, UoB) and Sophie Marsh (animation director).

“Animating the Future” (funded by the British Academy)

This project uses co-production of animation to explore the current lives and imagined futures of young migrants in Amazonian Peru, tackling the challenges they face to obtain the adulthoods they desire. The research is being carried out by a team of Indigenous anthropologists, academic researchers and Amazonian artists in Peru, with a view to support them to publish and disseminate their work in academia and beyond.




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I am interested in supervising postgraduate students interested in childhood and youth, Amazonia, coastal communities, imagined futures, and the use of participatory methods, especially drawing and animation.

I have recently mentored an application for a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, which was successful. If you are a postdoctoral researcher working in any of the above areas and interested in working with me at Bristol, please do get in touch and I will support you.


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