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Photography in Africa By Richard Vokes

Photography in Africa by Richard Vokes

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Gives an ethnographic account of the complexities of the use of photography in Africa, both historically and in contemporary practice.

Photography in Africa Summary

Photography in Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives by Richard Vokes

This collection of studies in African photography examines, through a series of empirically rich historical and ethnographic cases, the variety of ways in which photographs are produced, circulated, and engaged across a range of social contexts. In so doing, it elucidates the distinctive characteristics of African photographic practices and cultures, vis-a-vis those of other forms of 'vernacular photography' worldwide. In addition, these studies develop areflexive turn, examining the history of academic engagement with these African photographic cultures, and reflecting on the distinctive qualities of the ethnographic method as a means for studying such phenomena. The volumecritically engages current debates in African photography and visual anthropology. First, it extends our understanding of the variety of ways in which both colonial and post-colonial states in Africa have used photography as a means for establishing, and projecting, their authority. Second, it moves discussion of African photography away from an exclusive focus on the role of the 'the studio' and looks at the circulations through which the studios' products - the photographs themselves - later pass as artefacts of material culture. Last, it makes an important contribution to our understanding of the relationship between photography and ethnographic research methods, as these have been employed in Africa. Richard Vokes is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and author of Ghosts of Kanungu

Photography in Africa Reviews

The collection is an important and nuanced contribution that will be of wide interest to Africanists, and scholars concerned with photography, imperialism and postcolonialism. * ANTHROPOLOGICAL FORUM *
A valuable companion for the broad themes it explores. * AUSTRALASIAN REVIEW OF AFRICAN STUDIES *
These essays and Richard Vokes's presentation offer fascinating examples of photography's intersection with ethnography. * AFRICAN AFFAIRS *
Richard Vokes's edited work, Photography in Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives, includes essays that dissect the role of photography (as image and practice) within anthropologists' ethnographic work, and it is this historically and ethnographically informed attention to the construction of the photographic archive on Africa that presents a new lens to consider the overlap, and even lack of distinction, between genres like 'vernacular' and official, or 'state,' photography. * AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW *

Table of Contents

Introduction - Part I Photography & the Ethnographic Encounter - Richard Vokes Double Alienation: Evans-Pritchard's Zande & Nuer Photographs in Comparative Perspective - Christopher Morton Photographing 'the Bridge': Product & Process in the Analysis of a Social Situation in Non-modern Zululand - Chris Wingfield Frontier Photographs: Northern Kenya & the Paul Baxter Collection - Neil Carrier and Kimo Quaintance Memories of a Blue Nile Home: Still Picture, Moving Contexts & Multimedia Linkage - Wendy James Memories of a Blue Nile Home: Still Picture, Moving Contexts & Multimedia Linkage - Part II Picturing the Nation: Photography, Memory & Resistance - Judith Aston Emptying the Gallery: The Archive's Fuller Circle - Erin Haney 'Ca Bouscoulait!': Democratization & Photography in Senegal - Jennifer Bajorek 'A Once & Future Eden': Gorongosa National Park & the Making of Mozambique - Katie McKeown Reflections on Urban Space, the Visual & Political Affect in Kabila's Kinshasa - Part III The Social Life of Photographs - Katrien Pype On 'the Ultimate Patronage Machine': Photography & Substantial Relations in Rural South-western Uganda - Richard Vokes 'The Terror of the Feast': Photography, Textiles & Memory in Weddings along the East African Coast - Heike Behrend Ceremonies, Sitting Rooms & Albums: How Okiek Displayed Photographs in the 1990s - Corinne Kratz

Additional information

Photography in Africa: Ethnographic Perspectives by Richard Vokes
James Currey
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