Relocating Florence Weiss’ Fieldwork Photography as Anthropological Practice

  • Michèle Dick Department of Visual Anthropology, University of Zurich, Ethnographic Museum
Keywords: fieldwork, photograph, observational practice, embodied practice


During her 17 months of fieldwork (1972-74) in the village of Palimbei in Papua New Guinea, the Swiss anthropologist Florence Weiss took 5 674 black and white negatives and 4 794 col-our transparencies. Although the photographs were not taken at regular intervals, the average number of approximately 19 photographs per day gives an idea of the presence of photography in her fieldwork practice. Yet, Florence Weiss was not considered – or considered herself – a visual anthropologist. So, what kind of practice does her photography represent, and what role did it play in her wider fieldwork practice?

Author Biography

Michèle Dick, Department of Visual Anthropology, University of Zurich, Ethnographic Museum

Michèle Dick is currently a visual anthropology research assistant and a PhD candidate at the Ethnographic Museum at the University of Zurich. After her preliminary research on the photographic heritage of the Swiss social anthropologist Florence Weiss and her curation of the exhibition «Kinder im Augenblick. Florence Weiss – Fotografien vom Sepik» (Children in the Moment. Florence Weiss – Photographs from the Sepik River) in 2015, Michèle Dick is
currently pursuing her PhD research on 35mm roll film photography as scientific practice in late 20th century social anthropological fieldwork, using the Florence Weiss collection as a case study.

How to Cite
Dick, Michèle. 2018. “Relocating Florence Weiss’ Fieldwork Photography As Anthropological Practice”. TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association 23 (May):91-98.
Contributions in Audio-Visual Anthropology