ANTR-1119B Culture and Visual Imagination

This course provides an analysis of the relationship between culture (understood in its voyages as an anthropological concept and a stage of social practice and interaction between individuals and groups) and visual imagination (understood in its dimension of images, texts, performances and different audiovisual expressions that transmit and generate meanings). In order to do so, it explores images whose use, dissemination and receipt in historic contexts and through different practices in power have played a role in registering, viewing, evoking and making the cultural difference a scientific object, producing multiple images of the other. The five topics of exploration that have been put forward are: (1) representations that, from the dawn of modern times and in the context of the European colonization of the New World that began in the 16th Century, registered, evoked and dehumanized non-western peoples through images and texts of the other "savage", "barbarian", "idolator" or "cannibal", (2) the ethnographic imagination that arose over time, rooted in the colonial experience and scientific practices that presented and disseminated meanings of factual, cultural and visual aspects, where some of the most outstanding examples are museums, world fairs and photographic expositions set up on exhibition stages of "primitive" cultures, (3) the naturalist documentary that opened a line of reflection regarding images and —epistemological, ethical and political—dilemmas to represent the other "native", (4) the power and value added of images in the reproduction of imaginaries centered on "third world women ", "natives" and "migrants" in the proposals of Trinh T. Minh-ha, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gomez Pena, (5) images as transmitters and generators of new socio-cultural meanings through everyday experiences of use and/or appropriation of urban space and contemporaneous artistic expressions that feed and transform the global imagination in a context characterized by growing inequalities as well as old and new exclusions and violence against "migrants", "outcasts" and/or "second class citizens".   By the end of the semester, students are expected to have decanted arguments and ideas that will enable them to construct a critical approach to the relationship between visual imagination and culture, considering the historic, socio-cultural and scientific contexts of use, practice and dissemination.      




Espinosa Arango Monica