September 2020 start. Royal Holloway, University of London: PI Professor Jay Mistry and Professor Felix Driver
This project aims to reconnect historical photographs documenting Indigenous peoples and practices to contemporary initiatives concerning Indigenous knowledge and heritage development. Working in the Rupununi region of Guyana, the project will explore the use of significant photographic archives as a resource to enrich the understanding of Indigenous knowledge and practices, Indigenous heritage, identity and rights in contemporary Guyana. It will link work on Indigenous knowledge and memory with collections-based research, using methods of visual elicitation and digital repatriation in collaboration with the relevant Indigenous communities. There will be further support from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
The project combines:
a) archival research in UK collections with
b) field-based photo-elicitation in the Rupununi.
A participatory action research framework will allow research questions to be refined and addressed with participants in an iterative way to produce tangible benefits. The student will be encouraged to use participatory video as a way of creating new interpretative narratives. The possibility of a small-scale exhibition will also be considered in order to engage with wider audiences in Guyana.