EASA2016: Anthropological legacies and human futures
Since the beginning of ethnography drawing has been a popular way of documentation. Today, its place has been taken by film and photography. I suggest that going back to drawing can be not only a way of recording the reality but mainly an alternative way of experience and engagement in the field.
The drawing accompanied cultural anthropology and ethnography from their beginnings. The first ethnographers draw human types, tools and also the patterns of villages and lineages. Humanists in XIX century also used specific drawings as tools for research like "A Sure and Convenient Machine for Drawing Silhouettes". In their pictures the most important thing was to be close to the reality (Enlightenment), therefore the invention of photography was for them a helpful tool. Today, drawing is replaced by modern visual techniques such as photography, video and audio-visual interactive forms. As nowadays it is difficult to imagine fieldwork without camera or Twitter, the researchers often forgets about a pencil and paper.
This laboratory will focus on drawing as the way of documentation, but also as an important strategy of ethnographic experience and engagement in the field. Michael Taussig wrote that during the fieldwork the sense of drawing is not "makes up the shortfall as to complete reality or supercharge realism" but "drawing have the capacity to head off in an altogether other direction". One more Luddite's act? Not yet. I would like come back to drawing as a bodily interpretation of reality. In order to explore this perspective we will do a kind of ethnographic research outside of the campus. Afterwards we will compare our results, observations and impressions, and we will try to find out why do we need drawing in the fieldwork and in our discipline.
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