Ritratti e fotografie di famiglia tra gli indigeni wichís (Chaco, Argentina) | Franceschi | Visual Ethnography
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Ritratti e fotografie di famiglia tra gli indigeni wichís (Chaco, Argentina)

Zelda Alice Franceschi


The article reflects on the significance of certain photographic portraits and old family photographs for some indigenous wichís of the Argentine Chaco.

If in the photographic portraits taken at their request one notices, from the poses they assume, a certain conventionalism, in the photographs taken by a young indigenous boy a marked creativity emerges, and in the family photographs shown to me one perceives a vivid desire to preserve historical memory through images.

Each photograph is followed by a story, a comment, a kind of ekfrasis that guides the shot or accompanies the moment when old photographs are shown. Photographs are like life stories: choral and personal at the same time, they prompt reflection on their meaning and value and on the meaning they have from the point of view of their materiality and the emotions they convey.

This is the main objective of the article, which is followed by that of the desired restitution. It is therefore not a review of studies on the role of photography in anthropological and indigenous studies, but rather a reflection that can be shared with the protagonists of the images and stories.


photographs; indigenous wichís; memory; creativity; restitution; affection

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12835/ve2023.1-119


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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Edizioni Museo Pasqualino
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Salvo Leo

Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Palermo con numero di registrazione 1/2023