SAGA (Social Anthropology Graduate Association)

Ethnographic Fieldwork Photography Gallery

An image may contain a story of a thousand words, it may perfectly capture the heart of your dissertation or, most often, it may not. The value in an ethnographic photograph is not that it represents all of you or all of your work, but that it captures some moment, idea, feeling, or experience that the image taker feels is interesting, and important to share.

These images are not always "perfectly" framed or "in focus." Composition is not always a consideration, or even a possibility, in capturing an ethnographic image. Rather, there is often a different sort of purpose to this form of record making: to aid in the future recollection of a moment or detail, to quickly capture the unanticipated, or perhaps, to support the written word with visual proof. These images are also personal souvenirs, of a time of intense emotional and intellectual adventure.

Yet, the image is not enough. Without a label to indicate who, where or what (we leave the "why" and "how" for the dissertations), the images may seem odd, perturbing, boring, or even ugly. Thus, with a few short words these points are clarified, and the potency, sometimes poignant, is revealed.

To display our creative, record taking adventures, to promote the proud accomplishment of having conducted fieldwork and to maintain a visual record of our anthropological diversity, the Social Anthropology Graduate Students' Association presents this permanent exhibition of our graduate students' Fieldwork Photography in the SAGA Ethnographic Photography Gallery.

Toronto, June 2014
Aruna Panday