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Fieldwork at sunset

Visual representations of anthropology online

Bryonny Goodwin-Hawkins and Hannah Gould

Most institutional anthropology departments have a website, to tout credentials, attract students, and offer information. These websites also take up the visual task of disciplinary representation, but their images have skipped the scrutiny that is necessary and overdue. This article analyzes online images of sociocultural anthropology across one hundred high-ranking universities worldwide. We show how, online, a discipline defined by diversity becomes readily reducible to “exotic” geographies and objectified “others.” While the urban serves as an unattractive foil, frequent images of children recall charity campaigns. Such visual tropes—which comprise a significant, public interface for anthropology—are not just awkwardly dated but also do disservice to ambitions for public anthropology. Change, we suggest, must begin at (the) home(page).

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Visible on Our Own Terms

Evoking Girlhood Self-Images Through Photographic Self-Study

Rosalind Hampton and Rachel Desjourdy

Photographic self-study can promote professional growth and deepen analysis of how girlhood experiences such as those related to ability, class, gender, and race are conditioned by and inform our multiple, shifting identities as women. This article presents excerpts from three women's experiences of photographic self-study, highlighting the possibilities of this method as a malleable, feminist approach to critical reflexive practice. Our stories demonstrate how a creative process of self-interpretation, self-representation, and self-knowing can draw oppressive categories of self-identification-carried from girlhood-to the surface and expose them to critique and deconstruction.

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Issues of Gender Representation in Modern Greek Art

The Case of Thaleia Flora-Caravia’s Photographic Images and Self-Portraits

Despoina Tsourgianni

There is a recent trend, mainly in the field of historiography but also in art history, toward the exploration of female autobiographical discourse, whether it concerns written (autobiographies, correspondence), painted (self-portraits), or photographic data. On the basis of the highly fruitful gender perspective, this article seeks to present and interpret the numerous photographs of the well-known Greek painter Thaleia Flora-Caravia. These photographic recordings, taken almost exclusively from the painter’s unpublished personal archive, are inextricably linked to the artist’s self-portraits. This kind of cross-examination allows the reader to become familiar with the mosaic of roles and identities that constitutes the subjectivity of female artists in Greece in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Boundaries and Margins

The Making of the 'Golden Cage'

Eirini Chrysocheri

This article focuses on the Greek community of Alexandria, a socially and territorially bounded Diaspora entity that articulates a sense of connection to place through claims of a historically continuous socio-spatial connection to both Egypt and Greece. Through analyses of visual material collected and produced during fieldwork, I explore the spatial and social boundaries of the community before and after Nasser’s 1952 revolution and highlight discontinuities in the narratives and imaginings of the city articulated by different generations. Studying the creation of new borders, I reveal how restriction to, and isolation within, the ‘golden cage’ of Greek areas is both willingly embraced and a source of frustration. I conclude by outlining how spatial and ideological boundaries overlap and how they are shifted and defended by Greek and non-Greek inhabitants of the city.

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Gendering Grief

Lamenting and Photographing the Dead in Serbia, 1914–1941

Melissa Bokovoy

This article is part of a larger research project on the political, cultural, and social implications of interwar Yugoslavia’s remembrance and mourning of its war dead. Es- chewing a focus on state-centered commemorative practices, this article focuses on two types of sources, laments of Serbian women and photographs by Serbian military photographers, as entry points into understanding the private, cultural, and religious arenas of Serbian wartime and interwar remembrances. Drawing on research examining the political uses of lament and grief, the article considers the role Serbian women played in controlling and directing the “passion of grief and anger” within their communities as they remembered the dead. The photographic evidence reveals that traditional death rituals and laments were performed and that these rituals were significant socio-political spaces where women, families, and communities of soldiers advanced claims for recognition of their wartime experiences and memories. However, the photographs themselves are sites of memory and this article examines how military photographers, acting on behalf of the state, sought to control the representation of grief and by doing so politicized and secularized the way grief was expressed. Placing these sources side by side illustrates the intermingling of forms of mourning and remembrance that existed not only in the Balkans, but also in many other communities throughout Europe, especially among its rural inhabitants.

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Marc Roscoe Loustau

Why do post-pilgrimage slideshows help Transylvanian Hungarian Catholics perform domestic devotional labor? There is growing interest in breaking open pilgrimage research, and scholars have recently begun studying rituals of return—including pilgrims’ practice of using photographs to narrate their journeys after returning home. I contribute to this effort by sketching out the general characteristics of Transylvanian Hungarian Catholics’ post-pilgrimage slideshows about the Medjugorje shrine. I then give a detailed description of an exemplary case: a married couple’s presentation for their children gathered around the family computer. Although we might expect pilgrims to routinize stories and images from a chaotic journey, many slideshows were quite disorganized and impressionistic. This disorganization helped travelers tailor their stories to the diverse spiritual interests of guests in a changing Transylvanian Hungarian Catholic religious landscape. Family members’ conversations also dramatized how neoliberalism in Romania has emerged alongside new global pilgrimage sites like Medjugorje. Medjugorje appeals to pilgrims because it is a privileged site for advertising national wares on the global market.

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An Amazon Warrior, a Chaste Maiden or a Social Man?

Early Ethnographic Accounts of the Balkan Man-Woman

Aleksandra Djajić Horváth

This article looks into the representations of the figure of the Balkan man-woman in missionary and travel accounts from the turn of the twentieth century. I read these early proto-ethnographic texts, both written and visual, dialogically – as points of intersection between observers and the observed, with the aim of addressing the question of how professional transgressors – travellers and missionaries – perceived and culturally ‘translated’ female gender-transgressors who were enjoying the role and status of social men in northern Albanian and Montenegrin societies, and whose gender identity was heavily based on their daily performance of male chores and on the possession of male privileges, such as smoking, socialising with men and wearing arms.

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Oana Bălută

Ramona Păunescu, Evoluţii politice ale maternităţii: Perspective Feministe (Political evolutions of maternity: Feminist perspectives), Iaşi: Polirom Publishing House, 2012, 252 pp., RON24.95 (pb), ISBN 978-973-46-2448-5.

Bianca Burţa-Cernat, Fotografi e de grup cu scriitoare uitate (Group photography with forgotten women writers), Bucharest: Cartea Românească Publishing House, 2011, 237 pp., RON34.95 (pb), ISBN 978-973-23-2946-7.

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Aparna Kumar, Mary Bouquet, Alexandra Woodall, Paulette Wallace, Arjmand Aziz, Elizabeth Edwards and Petra Mosmann

EXHIBITION REVIEW ESSAYS

Unsettling the National in South Asia: My East is Your West, Venice Biennale, and After Midnight, Queens Museum, New York

Nonstop Modernity: Renovating the Rijksmuseum

A Storehouse of Unimagined Treasures: York Art Gallery and the Centre of Ceramic Art, York St Mary’s

EXHIBITION REVIEWS

The Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart

Indigenous Australia: Enduring Civilisation, British Museum, London

Photography: A Victorian Sensation, National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh, and Framed: People and Place in Irish Photography, Ulster Museum, Belfast

Girls at the Tin Sheds: Sydney Feminist Posters 1975–1990, University Art Museum, Sydney, and Girls at the Tin Sheds (Duplicated), Verge Gallery, Sydney

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Wartime Flânerie

The Zucca Controversy

Mary Louise Roberts

This essay reviews an exhibition of André Zucca's photographs titled "Les Parisiens sous l'Occupation," which caused an uproar when it opened in March 2008 at the Musée de la Bibliothèque historique de la ville de Paris. Not surprisingly, the controversy centered on the collaborationist past of Zucca, a photographer for the Nazi wartime periodical Signal. Because Zucca chose to photograph the sunnier side of life in wartime Paris, the exhibition raised the question of just how much Parisians "suffered" during the Occupation. It also demonstrated the powerful role of photography in shaping national memory.