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Accepted Paper:

Art and Anthropology in Graphic Form: Exceptional Experience and Extraordinary Collaboration in the Making of "Light in Dark Times": The Human Search for Meaning  
Alisse Waterston (City University of New York, John Jay College) Charlotte Hollands-Corden (Artist)

Paper short abstract:

An anthropologist-writer and an artist-anthropologist reflect on their extraordinary collaboration in the making of the graphic book, "Light in Dark Times." The presentation illuminates a way of connecting with multiple audiences by engaging multimodal forms knowledge production and dissemination.

Paper long abstract:

In this joint presentation, an anthropologist-writer and an artist-anthropologist reflect on aspects of their extraordinary collaboration in the making of "Light in Dark Times," their forthcoming graphic book rooted in nonfiction and comprised of fictionalized encounters with writers, philosophers, activists and anthropologists. A highly creative and intellectual endeavor, the production of this graphic book results from a series of interconnected, decades-long discussions in anthropology about "writing culture," the politics of representation, ways to demonstrate the relevance of the discipline to real-world concerns, and how to take advantage of multimodal formats to produce, disseminate and receive knowledge. In this presentation, the artist and the author describe the process of their artistic creation comprising place, space, dialogue, words, writing, sketching and illustrating in an exceptional experiment in art, aesthetics and anthropology. Their presentation itself conveys their dynamic as Waterston and Hollands discuss how working together on this project surfaced key understandings of social life. The final product is a graphic book that is aesthetically beautiful with a powerful story. Designed to reach multiple audiences from social science and humanities students to graphic novel and comix readers, the book conveys the drama of the world in dark times and difficult circumstances even as it reveals spaces of excitement and hope. The reflections on the production process in this presentation provide insight into new ways of communicating anthropological understanding, of engaging multimodal forms of anthropological knowledge production and dissemination, and of connecting with multiple audiences.

Panel P173
Exceptional Experiences: New Horizons in Anthropological Studies of Art, Aesthetics and Everyday Life
  Session 1 Thursday 23 July, 2020, -