"How striking is the photograph?" - Representational challenges, anthropological discourse, and a need to wonder.
Paper short abstract:
How does the interplay between photography and writing helps us thinking about contemporary anthropological attempts to representation and production of knowledge? In this paper, I argue that a preoccupation with these challenges is implicit in a photo exhibition organized at the RAI.
Paper long abstract:
How does the interplay between photography and writing helps us thinking about contemporary anthropological attempts to representation? In this paper, I argue that a preoccupation with this state of affairs is implicit in a recent photo exhibition organized at the Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI). More, I argue that these photos "represent a critique of the intellectual and scientific environment and framework of beliefs in which they were produced" (Pink, 2007: 68). This exhibition epitomises contemporary preoccupations of anthropologists concerned with finding a balance among multiple and often conflicting representational choices in order to communicate the complexities of their profession and the diversity of human cultures. My analysis of the preoccupations, critique, and re-presentations that are enacted in this exhibition resonates with a broader debate, recently addressed in a series of ESRC workshops, concerning the production of anthropological knowledge, the means and media of our epistemology, and the overall mission of the anthropologist.
Visual encounters: audiovisual approaches to anthropological knowledge