The Intimate Archive: Journey through Private Photographs  with Dr Fabiola Iuvaro

The Intimate Archive: Journey through Private Photographs with Dr Fabiola Iuvaro

Mon 08 Jul 19:00 - 21:30

THE MAIN ROOM

The book launch is the result of my Doctorate research's project at the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. My research begins with a series of twenty metal filing cabinets that were made to contain 54 years of fieldwork among the Canela Indians undertaken by Dr William Crocker, Curator of South American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution. Crocker began field research with the Canela in 1957 and he prepared extensive documentation, such as notes, sound recordings, photographs and films, registering the Canela way of life. Today these visual data form one of the largest visual collections of research concerning the native people of South-America. Yet the study of this collection has been largely unexamined and academically undervalued, and the footage about the group’s ceremonial life was almost unknown to anthropological and general audiences. The book is a detailed analysis of his visual enterprise, discussing its relative neglect, the circumstances under which the images were taken, the ideas which informed them, and the general methods employed in making them. Anthropologists not only reveal themselves in the way they communicate through their extensive written reports, but also through the choices of materials and the way they use their material to extract information. William Crocker is the first anthropologist who has given us a substantial body of visual documentation about an Amerindian group, the Canela, and yet in disseminating the record, Crocker appears to participate in this marginalising process himself. Today, his work certainly can be considered very significant for the valorisation of photography in anthropology as a primary recording device and not merely as an illustration. And very few archives are comparable to his. 

The book launch is the result of my Doctorate research's project at the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, ...

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