Accepted paper:

Between the Archive and the Village: The Lives of Photographs in Time and Space


Tommaso Sbriccoli (University of Siena)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the constitution, organisation and internal communication of a visual archive made of material collected by two different anthropologists in the same location sixty years apart.

Paper long abstract:

This paper addresses the constitution, organisation and internal communication of a "double" visual archive. The archive is double because it consists of thousands pictures and slides taken by the British anthropologist A.C. Mayer during the 1950s and images I and the photographer Daniela Neri collected in the same village in Central India some sixty years later.

Through the outline of an artistic photographic project which attempts to bring the two halves of the archive together, I will explore the technological politics of digitization, the communicative possibilities between the two sections of the archive, and the relation between still and new moving images. These discussions draw me into a consideration of the ethical and pragmatic issues emerging from using and distributing vintage and contemporary images in field locations - and to present some innovative approaches to this 'problem' through what I will call a 'talking archive'.

panel P03
Relational resolutions: The role of digital images in ethnographic fieldwork