Essays in visual anthropology

The section «Essays in Visual Anthropology» provides a platform for publishing the visual aspects of anthropological research and reflexion in the broadest sense of the term. This can be understood in two different ways. On the one hand, it deals with the visibility and the visualisation of «the own» and «the other» as an issue of anthropology. On the other hand, it is concerned with images as a means for and a result of the production of anthropological knowledge. This includes images produced during the process of research, for example, from field notes or independent visual projects.

Bearing in mind the photographic «objectivity trap», the social construction and the selectivity of both the production and the reception of photographic documents, we are aware of the discussions about their value and validity as well as of those concerning the conditions of production and interpretation. Illustrated articles in this section can contribute to these on-going discussions. As the name «visual essay» suggests, the authors of this section may feel slightly less restricted in form than those of the other, peer reviewed, sections. Rather than on methodological accuracy the attention here is given to the personal and visual involvement with the matter at issue.

While photographs taken during research or from museums or the arts represent the most important part of this section, there is also the possibility to publish other forms of expressions of visual anthropology like drawings, visual reports or hybrid forms. The corresponding text elucidates and complements the pictures with considerations on the conditions of the production of the images. It can, furthermore, outline theoretical reflections on visual anthropology.

The printed issue of Tsantsa can only reproduce pictures in black and white. Tsantsa online, however, can also publish pictures in colour. The number of pictures in the printed issue usually lies between ten and fifteen. The text should not exceed the maximum of 13‘000 characters. The guideline for authors of visual essays can be found here: Guideline for authors

  • Boris Boller
  • Alice Sala
  • Valerio Simoni
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