Winners Young Scholar Prize 2023
Winners Young Scholar Prize 2023
Introduction of the two winners of SIEF’s Young Scholar Prize 2023: Nikola Balaš and Camilo León-Quijano.
Camilo León Quijano.
Camilo León-Quijano, Centre Norbert Elias, Fabrique des Ecritures Ethnographiques
Camilo León-Quijano is a photographer and postdoctoral researcher in visual anthropology at CNRS (CNE/FEE). Ph.D. from the EHESS, he explores the relationship between photography and anthropology in urban settings through multimodal, creative, and participatory methods. His work has received multiple scientific and photographic recognitions. Widely exhibited and featured in several media (British Journal of Photography, Washington Post, Fisheye Magazine, Liberation, Paris Match, VICE, Days Japan), his visual research has been recently published in Cultural Anthropology, Visual Anthropology, and HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory. His latest book La cite : une anthropologie photographique (Éditions de l’EHESS, 2023) explores the social life of images in a French banlieue (https://www.camilo-leon.com/).
“Why Do ‘Good’ Pictures Matter in Anthropology?” Cultural Anthropology 37, no. 3: 572–598.https://doi.org/10.14506/ca37.3.11.
This article explores the relationship between photography and anthropology. It focuses on the phenomenological bond between the picture-taking process and the politics of visual representations by looking at an object that has shaped the discipline since its very origins. Based on a series of visual encounters in a French banlieue I describe to what extent good pictures are relative, incomplete, uncertain, sometimes inconsistent, and contain contradictory objects interacting with existing cultural and photographic conventions. I argue that good pictures are experienced pictures that go beyond the realm of a photograph. To this end, I consider the material and experiential connections between photography, sound, and text. Finally, I discuss how anthropologists' pictorial choices redefine the material and experiential ties to photographic materials. From a critical standpoint, a good picture might challenge the politics of visual representation of the imaged subject through both a photographic and ethnographic engagement.
Nikola Balaš, Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Nikola Balaš is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Ethnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He currently works on finishing a book under the working title An Ethnographic Chiefdom: The Production of Knowledge in Czechoslovak Ethnography and Foklore Studies, 1968 - 1989, the manuscript of which is bound for Berghahn Books. He tries to develop the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu for the purposes of studying science and the production of knowledge in state socialism. Among his other interests are political anthropology, anthropology of religion, anthropological and sociological theory and the relationship between philosophy and social sciences.
“Through a peephole: Vladimír Karbusický, the secret police and the scholarly ethos in socialist Czechoslovakia”, History and Anthropology 2022, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02757206.2022.2060218
The article is a case study based on analysing a dossier that the Czechoslovak secret police created in the 1960s on the Czech folklorist Vladimír Karbusický. In the 1960s, Karbusický established fruitful contacts with ethnographers abroad, among whom was Gerhardt Heilfurth, a West German ethnographer. This connection aroused the interest of the secret police. They feared that Karbusický might be a West German agent and began to monitor his private and professional life. The subsequent surveillance is a remarkable testimony of the incursion of the secret police into the scholarly world. It shows how the police's actions diminished the autonomy of the scholarly world, influenced career paths and contributed to the formation of academic habitus. However, the dossier can be also read as a testimony of a persisting academic autonomy. It suggests that the Communist Party and the secret police were not entirely successful in their aims to control society. Furthermore, it even seems as if the secret police served ethnographers as a tool for paying off their own scores.