In 1971, the "Film Commission" was established concomitant with the foundation of the SES. In 1977, it was renamed "Commission for Audio-Visual Documentation" until it became the "Audio-Visual Commission of the SAA" or "CAV”.
Audio-visual media have gained considerable significance in ethnographic practice as well as in the production of anthropological theory. The CAV aims to facilitate a constant professional exchange between anthropologists of all Swiss Universities that are teaching and researching with, and about the use of, audio-visual media seeking to establish national and international networks in the research areas of Audio-Visual and Media anthropology.
The main purpose of the CAV is to expand and archive the audio-visual collection of the SES. Furthermore, it is responsible for the organisation and realisation of anthropological projects that incorporate or integrate any media productions. The commission organises several events each year, e.g. a panel at the annual meeting of the SES, symposia and summer workshops for students (organized in 2012 – 2014 – 2017).
The CAV consists of representatives of all institutions that are collective members of the SES, and specialists in the field of Audio-Visual Anthropology.