AAA congratulates 2013 Photo Contest Winners in the People category: Vanessa Diaz, Matthew M Gervais, Andrea M Heckman, Sophie Hooge Seebach and Sertaç Sehlikoğlu. Be sure to also view the winning photographs in the People and Place categories.
AAA members voted on their favorite photos in September and Anthropology News is pleased to present the photos here. We’d like to thank everybody who participated in this year’s photo contest, either by entering photos or by voting.
Top Selection in Process and Practice Category: The Happy Time by Matthew M Gervais
Title: The Happy Time Caption: Yasawairara village, Yasawa Island, Fiji, December 24, 2011 On Christmas eve in Fiji, villagers and a research assistant relax around the cook fire while preparing a feast for the following afternoon. Out of frame, a young boy has tossed a dog onto a hogtied pig, eliciting eruptions of laughter from the gathered family. This feast will give way to the “happy time” (gauna ni marau) during the month of January, a confluence of traditional harvest celebrations and introduced observances realized in quasi-normless freedoms — including the consumption of home brew, midnight merrymaking, and games played on the village green by young and old. Photo courtesy Matthew M Gervais
Colors and Textures of Fieldwork by Vanessa Diaz
Title: Colors and Textures of Fieldwork (Delhi, India; May 2011) Caption: The night before this photo was taken in Delhi, Jane Lynch attended her friend Neha’s Mehendi (henna party), which typically precedes a Shaadi (wedding). In this photo, taken the morning of the Shaadi, Jane’s henna-stained hands are shown examining the fine texture of the fiber from the capsule of a Semal tree. These capsules ripen and release silky fibers. Historically, these fibers were used to stuff the bedding of elite families. Now, Lynch says, she sees the fibers wasted, getting swept up with other debris. As she conducts dissertation research on the Indian textile industry, Jane considers how the changes in natural and synthetic materials have affected textile production. Photo courtesy Vanessa Diaz
Stillness Amidst the Com(motion) by Vanessa Diaz
Title: Stillness Amidst the Com(motion): Pondering Fieldwork in the Field/At Home (Piatra Neamt, Romania; May 2011) Caption: Walking home from the health clinic where Luciana Aenasoaie (left) conducts dissertation fieldwork on social networks in her hometown of Piatra Neamt, Romania, she takes a break to discuss fieldwork with cohort member Elana Resnick (right), who came from Bulgaria for a conference. In the stroller is Luciana’s newborn Aida. “I’ve been reading about fieldwork and where it begins, and I like what I’m doing,” Luciana told Elana. “This is what I came here to do, so why can’t it be fieldwork? I don’t have a set schedule. I have a to-do list. I get things done, I just don’t know when because it depends on other people. However different it is from what anybody else is doing, it’s my fieldwork.” Photo courtesy Vanessa Diaz
Water Blessing During a Cremation Ritual by Andrea M Heckman
Title: Water Blessing During a Cremation Ritual in Bali, Indonesia Caption: This long planned for and organized Balinese cremation ceremony began with the blessing of these male participants who were to carry the deceased to the cremation grounds. The older woman gave each one special water blessings before they assumed the roles they would perform in this final rite of passage. Photo courtesy Andrea M Heckman
A Blessing by Sophie Hooge Seebach
Title: A Blessing Caption: Gulu, Northern Uganda. 30.03.2013 Spit and alcohol is raining down on three infants, held tight by their guardians. This is part of a ritual in which the babies are blessed and their umbilical cords buried. This should ensure a bright future for the new generation. The ritual is a clash between generations; the elderly women hold on to the old traditions, but the younger generation often feel removed from it. In the lower right corner of the image is the hand of a young man filming the ritual on his phone. He had come home from Kampala, where he now lives. “We young people, we don’t know the traditions anymore”. As things are developing, the infants will know even less of the old ways. Photo courtesy Sophie Hooge Seebach
Divergent Desires on Display by Sertaç Sehlikoğlu
Title: Divergent Desires on Display Caption: May 2012,Fatih (The religious district of Istanbul, also a vibrant shopping hub). This photo depicts the display window of a wedding store, where, a turquoise veiled engagement costume is placed next to a strapless wedding dress. In daily life, individuals often interact with multiple tastes and perspectives (Islamist vs secularist) associated with those tastes enmeshed into one another. This is a fragment of becoming, where potential buyers, Istanbulite women, are enchanted by particular markets of marriage, fashion, and entertainment, as they are called by diverse forms of desires in neoliberal times, along with the constraints and deprivations of those desires. Photo courtesy Sertac Sehlikoglu