Representing the Bektashis
Exploring Epistemologies in Visual Anthropology
As a professional photojournalist collaborating with anthropologists, I have often confronted perspectives from academic scholars with little (if none) practical knowledge of, attention to, and understanding of the visual medium. In such a context, current theoretical approaches to how visual cultures are thought and signified, might offer a valuable and clarifying occasion to address the profound misconceptions visual media, and photography particularly, suffer. Based on my 2008 fieldwork on the Bektashi community in Albania, I aim to foster montage as a practical tool for visual signification of anthropological research. By applying the professional photographer’s hands-on expertise to the academic field of anthropology, and of visual anthropology specifically, I will eventually advocate for a more articulated and aesthetic-led understanding of visual communication.