Accepted paper:

Capturing the Intangible: how images of the tangible transform cultural heritage practices


Lourdes Arizpe (National University of Mexico)

Paper short abstract:

Photographs often disappoint anthropologists who take them because they cannot capture the intensity of bonding, tacit understandings and hierarchy of values and things transmitted during performance. Yet they may give practitioners a new knowledge to re-energize their cultural heritage events.

Paper long abstract:

The paper will discuss many of the experiences which have been collected in the Archive on Cultural Heritage of the Center for Multidisciplinary Research in local indigenous and mestizo villages in Mexico. Digital photography became important as the Archive evolved. Local young men and women were trained in photography and given digital cameras alongside the anthropologists. Yet the most salient result of giving back photographs and videos to practitioners has been the impact they have had in the perception and discussion of intentionality and impression-management. Digital imaging is particularly useful in setting off discussions on these events among all actors, including stakeholders and anthropologists.

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