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Sensate Image: Fieldwork in Photography, in Nepal

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Title: Sensate Image: Fieldwork in Photography, in Nepal
Authors: Desjarlais, Robert
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa Center for South Asian Studies
Citation: Desjarlais, Robert, "Sensate Image: Fieldwork in Photography, in Nepal."Paper presented at the Center for South Asian Studies 30th Annual Symposium, "Sensing South Asia," Honolulu, April 17-19, 2013.
Abstract: This paper attends to the significance of sensory perception and experience in South Asia by considering the many, sometimes vexed ways that photography can serve as a means of anthropological and phenomenological inquiry into the matters of the world. It consists primarily of a set of narrative and analytic reflections on the author’s ethnographic fieldwork in the summer of 2011, in which I traveled to the Yolmo region in northcentral Nepal to construct a photo-ethnographic portrait of the peoples who live in that region. In returning to villages where I had once lived, and motivated by James Agee’s plea “to perceive simply the cruel radiance of what is,” I sought to capture in photographic imagery the sensate methods and phenomenal knack of life in the villages. Through these engagements I came to reflect on the complicated ethics and politics of photoethnographic work; the sense of differing cultural aesthetics informing the creation and evaluation of photographs; the aura of care often imbued in photographic imagery; pacings of time and memory; and the intricate play between sensory perception and invocation, and text and image.
Rights: Desjarlais, Robert
Appears in Collections:2013 South Asia Spring Symposium Presentations

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