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Representation and visual anthropology: films and meaning construction about cocopah people.

Abstract in spanish

Filming ethnic groups poses the researcher with the challenge of identifying the mechanisms through which the use of certain visual codes –such as those that construct the “indigenous subject” as a “folkloric subject”- reproduce ideas about indigenous peoples as voiceless, ignorant, exploited or powerless subjects, representations that are actually imbedded in the quotidian logic and practice of dominating and discriminating interethnic interactions. Here I explain the importance of constructing other type of categories to visually represent indigenous bodies, practices and contemporary indigenous bodies and ways of living that make possible to imagine legitimate indigenous ethnicities associated urban places of residence, access to higher education and all other factors that they may choose to include as a form of living. Producing visual ethnographies about these contemporary forms of being indigenous may contribute to the construction of de-stigmatizing of indigenous peoples in the Latin American context.

Keywords: visual anthropology,image,representation,ideology,cocopah.
Author: Alejandra Navarro Smith. Antropóloga visual. Investigadora, Instituto de Investigaciones Culturales-Museo de la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. México.
Received: September 30th, 2012, Accepted: November 15th, 2012
Revista Chilena de Antropología Visual - número 20 - Santiago, diciembre 2012 - 79/105 pp. - ISSN 0718-876x. Rev. chil. antropol. vis.