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ETHNOGRAPHY

In this series, I embark on a journey through the shadowed halls of history, specifically the discredited practices of visual anthropology from the early 20th century. Drawing from the extensive archives of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, I seek to uncover and reinterpret and recontextualize the images and ideologies that once sought to categorize and define human beings through a narrow, often prejudiced lens. Through a meticulous recreation process, my work aims to strip away the layers of colonial and racist undertones inherent in these practices, employing a blend of classic photographic techniques alongside modern special effects. This approach allows me to weave a new narrative that seeks to restore the dignity and humanity to the subjects of these historic photographs. These individuals were often reduced to mere specimens for study.

At its core, this body of work is a deliberate act of artistic intervention—a reclamation of narrative and a restoration of respect to those objectified by outdated scientific practices. By juxtaposing the original intentions of these anthropological photographs with a contemporary understanding of ethics and respect for all cultures, I aim to challenge and transform the viewer's perception of history and its impact on the present. The use of special effects serves not to distort but to enhance the truth of these individuals' stories, bridging the gap between past and present, and inviting a reflective dialogue on the evolution of cultural sensitivity and the power of visual media to shape our understanding of humanity. Through this series, I not only pay homage to the resilience of those subjected to the scrutinizing gaze of early anthropologists but also critique the scientific and cultural frameworks that allowed such practices to flourish.