Screen-grab from 'Chickenshit & Ash - A Visit to Paradise' / himalayafilmfestival.us
Screen-grab from 'Chickenshit & Ash - A Visit to Paradise' / himalayafilmfestival.us

Reverse anthropology and controlled subjectivity

Chicken Shit and Ash: A Visit to Paradise
Huhnerdreck and Asche, Austria, 1997/98, colour, Beta/SP PAL, 68′
Original language: Nepali, Tamang. By Karl Prossliner, Gabriele Tautscher and Peter Friess

Anthropology was born in sin and still struggles to absolve itself. Self-reflexivity and all attempts to overcome the circumstances of its birth, and transform the practice of anthropology into a more egalitarian rendition of other cultures are still ridden with problems. New techniques, some of them bordering on the gimmicky, surface in anthropology as ways of writing culture. From participant observation, to thick description, to letting the 'object' speak, various methods have been attempted and advocated in the effort to rectify the hierarchy between the anthropologist and the subject.

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Himal Southasian
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