Deliberate Perspectival Obstructions: Looking at Nothing in Papua New Guinea – Københavns Universitet

Institut for Antropologi > Forskning > Publikationsomtaler > Deliberate Perspectiva...

17. maj 2016

Deliberate Perspectival Obstructions: Looking at Nothing in Papua New Guinea

This article discusses the collaborative use of what the authors call ‘perspectival obstructions’. Taking its outset in the events revolving around a series of challenges given to each other, as well as to their interlocutors, in Papua New Guinea, the article unfolds how obstructions may be tied to a radical shift in perspective that allows partly for the invisible and absent to emerge as visible and present, and for different potentialities of persons and social relations to be brought to light. Hence the article demonstrates how obstruction and intervention as parts of the ethnographic methodology may help elicit perspectives that are otherwise kept hidden (deliberately or not), such as power-relations or the occluded side of a friendship or a kinship relation. This, in turn, also poses a danger to the otherwise collaborative ideal of modern ethnographic fieldwork in literally challenging and affecting ‘the natives' point of view’.

Henrik Hvenegaard: "Deliberate Perspectival Obstructions: Looking at Nothing in Papua New Guinea"; Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology; 2016