Many contemporary artists have used the archive as a place for their work by rethinking the institution itself. How can anthropology and neighbouring disciplines engage creatively and critically with photographic collections and the relationship between image and text?
The archive has recently emerged as a site of contested history, heritage and memory in debates on collections and colonial pasts. Conventionally imagined as a technology for the storage of traces of the past, the archive can alternatively be thought of as a place to revisit and rethink/alter the present. Many contemporary artists have used the archive as a place for their to creative work by rethinking the institution itself, its linearity and our obsession to 'preserve for posterity'. The 'archive' as a repository, treasure, or as a dumping ground for historical objects exposes ideas on anthropological fieldwork that may not be appropriate in contemporary production of knowledge. This panel will look at alternative practices towards archival photographs from anthropology and neighboring disciplines. How can photographic collections be used to create a new body of work by either collage, re-organisation or by producing entire new images while using anthropological collections as a departure and reference point? Can photographic work stand alone as a piece of ethnography? What is the relationship between text and image? Secondly, how can archival images be used creatively in combination with written ethnography and ethnographic description? How have archival images found new meanings and narratives? We are looking for papers that can demonstrate a critical engagement with photographic collections and visual theory in regard to archive while also investigating the relationship between image and text in producing ethnography. We especially encourage scholars from interdisciplinary backgrounds to contribute to this debate.