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Photography and ambivalence

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Although scant attention has been devoted to the anthropological 'crisis in representation' of creating still images as part of anthropological research, several contemporary women anthropologists have written of their misgivings. In this paper, I examine the ideas and photographic practices of Ruth Behar, Lila Abu-Lughod, Serena Nanda, Barbara Tedlock, Kristen Hastrup and Nancy Scheper-Hughes, all of whom hold ambivalent attitudes toward photography. I will identify common concerns as well as strengths acknowledged by them. Also, I will examine new ways in which they and a number of other anthropologists are re-visioning photographic practices and creating more equitable relationships between researchers and subjects.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2004

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