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SVA Awards

2012 Winners

2012 John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography Winner:

Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula since 1914. Haidy Geismar and Anita Herle. (2011: University of Hawaii Press)

Geismar & Herle

In 1914–1915, Cambridge anthropologist John Layard worked in Malakula, New Hebrides (Vanuatu). This was one of the earliest periods of solitary, intensive fieldwork within the developing discipline of British social anthropology. Based on Layard’s copious notes and photographs, this book contains over 300 of these evocative images, most previously unpublished and presented here for the first time with Layard’s field notes and captions. They provide an extraordinary record of the elaborate ritual and culture of small Islanders and reveal photography’s role as an evidential and subjective medium vital to the practice of social anthropology. Layard’s photographs have played a crucial role in forming ideas about culture and society, both in Vanuatu and within anthropology. His writings and images have recently been used by ni-Vanuatu as records of traditional life and to encourage cultural revitalization. Moving Images fully explores the resonance of Layard’s images in the intellectual history of anthropology and illuminates the social history of the discipline as a cross-cultural enterprise that connects Western scholarship to indigenous interests in the encounter of fieldwork.


2012 Honorable Mention Award:

Arapaho Journeys: Photographs and Stories from The Wind River Reservation. Sara Wiles (2011: University of Oklahoma Press)

Sara Wiles

In what is now Colorado and Wyoming, the Northern Arapahos thrived for centuries, connected by strong spirituality and kinship and community structures that allowed them to survive in the rugged environment. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, as Anglo-Americans pushed west, Northern Arapaho life changed dramatically. Although forced to relocate to a reservation, the people endured and held on to their traditions. Today, tribal members preserve the integrity of a society that still fosters living ni iihi , as they call it, “in a good way.” Sara Wiles captures that life in Arapaho Journeys, an inside look at thirty years of Northern Arapaho life on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. Through more than 100 images and 40 essays, Wiles documents people at Wind River by weaving together essays on tribal history, personal narratives, and traditional knowledge and little-known aspects of Arapaho history and culture, including naming ceremonies and cultural revitalization efforts. This work broaches controversial topics, as well, including the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. This book is a journey through word and photos into Northern Arapaho’s history, culture, and lived experience.


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