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Department of Linguistics

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
D-04103 Leipzig

phone: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 300
fax: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 333

e-mail: cissewski@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Curriculum Vitae

Date of birth: 15.09.1972
Place of birth: Lae, Papua New Guinea
Nationality: German

Education and Training

Since April 2012

Researcher at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary
Anthropology, Department of Linguistics
DoBeS-Project: Documentation of Bena Language in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea

July 2011 

Award of PhD title in Anthropology at The Australian National University, Canberra. Title: Culture Change and Exchange – Syncretism and Anti-Syncretism in Bena, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea

March 2003-July 2011

PhD student at the Research School of Asian and Pacific Studies, Department of Anthropology, The Australian National University, Canberra

May 2001

Magister Artium (MA) in Anthropology at the Freie Universität Berlin (1,0). Title: Über den weiblichen Status von Frauen im Hochland von Papua Neuguinea


MA-studies in Anthropology and Media and Communications Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin


High School Degree (Abitur) at Gymnasium Albertinum, Coburg


Student at Gymnasium Albertinum, Coburg


Grundschule am Heimatring, Coburg

Working Experience

Since December 1997

Freelance at the State Museums Berlin

Working Fields:


  • Audiovisual documentation of exhibitions and events (performances, discussions, lectures)
  • Editing of ethnographic films
  • Soundmixing and subtitling
  • Speaking of Voice over and audioguides
  • DVD-production

Culture and Education

  • Concept-development for exhibitions (scientific, didactic, educational)
  • Guided tours through the exhibitions Oceania, North American Indians, Junior Museum, Vodou and others
  • Conceptional and redactional work on the exhibitions Vodou (2010) and Junior Museum (2009)

Public Relations

  • Organising conferences and events
  • Writing press-texts
  • Moderating events
May 2007-April 2012

Agent in culture managment with Kulturprojekte GmbH and x:ibit GmbH Berlin

Working Fields:

  • Development of educational material for the exhibition Weltwissen, Martin Gropius Bau Berlin 2010/11
  • Communication and info service for the State Museums Berlin
  • Event-documentation
March-April 1997

Practical in the Media Department of the Ethnologisches Museum Berlin

Oct. 1992-Mai 1993

Employee at the HUK-Coburg Insurance

Teaching Experience

SS 2010

Lecturer for the Academy of the State Museums Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum
Seminar: Magical Practices in Papua New Guinea

WS 2009 

Lecturer for the Academy of the State Museums Berlin, Ethnologisches Museum
Seminar: Culture Change in Papua New Guinea

May 2008

One week workshop: Visual anthropology for students of the Albert-Schweitzer-Schule, Berlin (cooperation with the Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin)


Seminars: Intercultural Communication, Script Development
Freie Universität Berlin, Faculty: Media and Communication Studies

SS 2001, WS 2002

Seminars: Visual Anthropology, Film-Editing Ethnologisches Institut, Universität Heidelberg Faculty: Anthropology


German, English, Melanesian Tok Pisin

Basic knowledge:
French, Portugese, Samoan, Bena

Research and Fieldwork

July-Nov 2012

First research period in DoBeS project:
Documentation of Bena Language, Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea
Topic/Keywords: Material culture, culture change, relation between language and cultural concepts

Feb 2005-Nov 2006

PHD Research in Bena, EHP, Papua New Guinea
Topic/Keywords: Culture change, syncretism, exchange, person

Sept 2003-Sept. 2004

PhD Research in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea 
Topics: Intercultural communication, concepts of time, culture change

Mai-Oct 1997

MA Research in Papua New Guinea
Topic: Gender roles, transformative changes in the social roles of women

Personal Skills and Competences

Since 1997

Independent filmmaker

Specific Skills:

  • Script development
  • Flexible and culturally sensitive audiovisual documentation of events, persons, activities
  • Camera, Sound, Editing
  • Software: FINAL CUT PRO, AVID
since 1997 

Anthropological Research

Specific Skills:

  • Confident use of different methods and techniques of documentation even under difficult conditions
  • Confident and profound data analysis and organisation, interpretation and presentation of data
  • Excellent communication skills and great competence in intercultural communication
  • Experience in mediation and conflict managment
  • Excellent ability to work in teams

Additional Information


Chair of the AG Visuelle Anthropologie of the German Society for Anthropology (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde)

Interests and Hobbies 

Intercultural communication, Travelling, Languages, Exhibitions/Museums, Social Engagement, Film, Literature, Music, Art history