Accepted paper:

Reconstructing ethnographic missions from field photographs and archival practices

Author:

Ines Ponte (ICS-Universidade de Lisboa)

Paper short abstract:

Examining the case of an institutionalised field photography collection made over 5 ethnographic missions in the late Portuguese colonial period in Angola (1965-1969), this presentation recovers the missions' context as well as specific practice through a resourceful combination of archival sources.

Paper long abstract:

During the XX century, photography-making often played a crucial part in field missions to Africa, colonial state-sponsored ones being no exception. Examining the case of an institutionalised field photography collection made over 5 ethnographic missions in the late Portuguese colonial period in Angola (1965-1969), this presentation recovers the missions' broader context as well as specific practice through a resourceful combination of archival sources. Aiming to reconstruct these missions' rationale and practice, I crisscross data from related institutional archives of the ethnological museum responsible for the missions - its visual ethnological archive as well as its historical archive. I offer visual resources grounded on sequential dimensions obtained from documents and field photographs to explore both field and archival practices followed in the establishing of an overseas ethnological project in the Portuguese late colonial context.

panel Anth40
Photo archives: silence and blindness