The Art of Anthropology showcases the photographs of 31 ANU anthropologists taken during their research “in the field” in various places around the world. The exhibition is a window into the beauty and dynamics of ethnographic inquiry, highlighting the multiplicity and diversity of research methodologies that anthropologists use in their work. It is a way for ANU anthropologists to communicate their research visually and an opportunity for those outside the discipline to gain an insight into the richness and diversity of the human experience.
In anthropological scholarship, photographs have conventionally fulfilled a secondary, largely illustrative function vis-à-vis the more epistemologically privileged text. However, as this exhibition shows, photographs have a purpose and a meaning in and of themselves, providing a productive point of departure for exploring and analysing anthropological questions. These images offer a glimpse into the worlds of the people who have shared with us their stories and invited us into their lives. Taking you from the desert landscape of central Australia through to the children born of the Karen hills of northern Thailand, they tell stories about a changing world and moments caught at the crossroads of different influences, generations, traditions and cultures.
The images explore social interactions and the ephemeral moments of the everyday. They highlight the importance of rituals and performance and the way in which identity is made in relation to different spaces and environments; new technologies and old traditions; global and local forces; and the very act of doing ethnography and taking pictures in identity making. We invite the audience to think about the ways in which people shape the world around themselves, and how they are shaped by it, be it through religious, artistic, political or ethnographic practice.
This is the third ethnographic photography exhibition organised by ANU anthropology postgraduate students. Many thanks to our sponsors the Postgraduate and Research Students Association (PARSA) and the College of Asia the Pacific for their generous support.
Dates & timesFriday, 29 September 2017 6.00pm - 5.00pm
Gallery, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU