Given John’s diverse background, his interests are multifaceted. The researcher moved from earlier studies in horror films
to documentation of what the UN characterised as a human rights horror to newer interests listed below.
Over the last seven years, John travelled widely to document female genital mutilation on all inhabitable continents. From the Russian Caucasus and Middle-East conflict zones to the Peruvian Amazon and American Midwest and beyond, he gathered interviews with FGM survivors, cutters, doctors and experts in unusual places. The soon-to-be completed documentary The Cut: Exposing FGM Worldwide, shows conclusively that FGM exists across religions and races. As a male outsider, John was allowed to interview and research on FGM by people most affected by it. He wants to document connections between cultures and ‘universality’ of certain behavioural patterns, although John is unclear whether Freudian
or any other ‘universalist’ approach is possible.
Outside areas of religions, gender rights
, and sexuality
, John is interested in performing arts in public spaces and their contributions to social/economic development
. He likes to build on what Bakhtin
wrote on the carnival to cover concepts related to ‘professional’ street performers. The researcher is also interested in the ‘measurements’ and future studies on happiness
(he teaches humour and laughter across cultures
for example). He is also interested in the concepts of self-delusions
John advocates making video documentaries as a research tool. He believes in producing scholarly works and parallel outputs accessible to the public.