Africa’s Diamond Mines and the Contradictions of Visual Anthropology
Daniel Hoffman (University of Washington)
Membership Lecture, The New Mexico History Museum Auditorium
Thursday, November 4, 2010, 6:30–7:30 pm
|Dr. Daniel Hoffman at his lecture “Africa’s Diamond Mines”|
For Dr. Daniel Hoffman, the anthropologist with a camera, the diamond mines of West Africa present definite contradictions. Deep in the West African rainforest, mines on the Sierra Leone and Liberia border are politically volatile, dangerous landscapes. Yet the mines are also strangely beautiful, where the vibrant forest canopy, the hues of yellow mud, and the poetics of laboring bodies create striking visual portraits of postcolonial Africa. What does it mean to be a visual anthropologist today—simultaneously a witness, an archivist, and an artist, roles that are frequently contradictory and challenging to reconcile?