Methodology: The process of recording images

Ever since Boas and Malinowski left the armchair in search of more accurate information about distant cultures, questions of representation and methodology have been constant points of debate in modern anthropology. Visual anthropologist introduced tools such as still photography and moving picture to better record data. Visual equipment originally brought to the fieldwork to supplement written monographs, has surpassed its original expectations. So much has been the growth that it became a separate branch in the field of anthropology. Nevertheless, the questions remain the same.

Methodology: The process of recording images.
From San Miguel, Santiago, Chile, to the Holy City, West Side, Chicago.
Encounter of People of Distant Realities. Where Do We Meet?

The intention of a video class in an economically depressed area was clear. Empowering people through a visual project that could mirror some of the essential aspects of being a minority in a segregated neighborhood was the driving force. Generally speaking, the reality of segregated neighborhoods is a reality rarely broadcast reality to large sectors of society, especially to mainstream society. What's the role of the ethnographer? How does the ethnographer go about recording data? What's important and what's not? Developing methodology should not mean, I think, developing universal concepts that could be applied to all realities. The direction in which recording visual equipment is pointed will vary from social organization to social organization. A way to alleviate such a predicament is teaching the people being studied the equipment so they can record their perspective of things and compare it to the professional observer's. The truth will lay somewhere between both perspectives, but it won't be tangible information.

Autor: Marcelo Piña  
University of Illinois. 



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