Initial considerations on archiving, presenting and representing images of a village in India
Tina Otten (Ruhr Universität Bochum)
Paper short abstract:
Considers the social, ethical, aesthetic, and technical aspects of archiving, gifting and exhibiting F.G. Bailey’s photographs from the 1950s in light of recent fieldwork in the same locations.
Paper long abstract:
The paper discusses the procedure/method of archiving, presenting and representing the fieldwork photographs of F.G. Bailey in relation to my own recent field research in the same locations. Bailey undertook fieldwork in Bisipada in Odisha, Eastern India, in the 1950s. Photography was one of his key methodologies. Restudying his work and fieldsites has led me to consider the following: a.) Social aspects of archiving; discussions about the archive with people of the village; the possibilities of creating a local archive; the role of archives as tools for social, cultural, and personal memory. b.) Ethical aspects of archiving: for whom do we archive? Who possesses rights over images and technologies? c.) Technical aspects refer to the development and refinement of my own archive techniques with a view to the archive having an afterlife. d.) Finally, the aesthetic aspect deals with preparing and presenting images for those appearing in them, both for their private consumption and for publication and exhibition.
Archiving Photographs and Photographing Archives