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Accepted Paper:

Being affected: the politics, ethics and aesthetics of an ethno-photographic exhibition  
Cécile Cuny

Paper short abstract:

This contribution transposes the category of 'being affected' - which refers to the involuntary reactions of the ethnographer 'caught up' in a power relation - to the analysis of a photographic exhibition carried out with male and female logistics workers in France and Germany.

Paper long abstract:

"Being affected" is a category coined by Jeanne Favret-Saada, a French anthropologist who conducted an investigation into witchcraft in the Normandy bocage at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s (1977). According to her, 'Being affected' is to be the seat of emotions and reactions that are most often uncontrollable, but it is also the starting point of ethnographic knowledge.

In this contribution, I propose to transpose this category to the analysis of a series of photographic itineraries presented at the Maison Robert Doisneau in Gentilly (France) in 2020. The exhibition was conceived as part of a collective research project on the 'working-class worlds of logistics'. The research methodology was based on collaboration between social science researchers and photographers. With a dual background in photography and sociology, I successively occupied the positions of interviewer and photographer within these collaborations.

From these two positions, I will analyse the installations in the exhibition devoted to photographic itineraries carried out with workers in Paris, Orléans, Frankfurt/Main and Kassel. These itineraries consist in conducting an interview on foot or by car, with the interviewee acting as a guide for a sociologist and a photographer. This method, formalised by the sociologist Jean-Yves Petiteau (2001), has been used in three different ways by photographers, interviewers and workers in the field, which reflect their power relationships. The choices made for the exhibition correspond to three strategies adopted by the photographers to call into question the power relationships that run through this relationship.

Panel P10
Multimodality, Collaboration and Co-curation as Critical Anthropological Pedagogy
  Session 2 Thursday 27 June, 2024, -