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Live People as Anthropological Exhibits

29 Jan

Today we’ve seen The Couple in the Cage, and the BBC is reporting on Burmese women functioning as a tourist attraction in Thailand:

For years the prospect of visiting one of three “long-necked” Kayan villages in this remote corner of north-western Thailand, close to the Burmese border, has been a major lure for foreign tourists.

Read the whole story. In what ways is this an example of the “anthropological gaze” our video criticizes?

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This Thursday we finish seeing Burden of Dreams. Tuesday is Mardi Gras Day, and the following Thursday we discuss the two films, together with Torgovnick, chapters 2 and 7. That day a 250 word journal entry is due, relating any point in Torgovnick to any aspect of either film – or both.

Write on something that strikes you, and to which you would like to draw our attention. A possible example: headless people, brain and brawn, head and body. The Couple in the Cage discusses circus exhibits of acephalics or “pinheads,” alongside exotic animals, “primitive” people, and so on. There is a good discussion of headless people as metaphor in Torgovnick, chapter 7. How can we develop this? What is the idea of headlessness connected to?

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Posted by on January 29, 2008 in News, Plans

 

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