Allana L Ross Annotations

Allana L Ross's picture
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What does this visualization (including caption) say about toxics?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:55am

I feel that I may have answered this question in my first annotation. The image and its caption undermine the epistemological framework that we employ to understand toxicity, warfare, violence, and ecological destruction. How and why do we know what we think we know? What events have seemed insignificant, only to become catastrphically important in the future? 

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Can you suggest ways to enrich this image to extend its ethnographic import?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:50am

No. It's stunning, and in combination with the caption has a striking effect.

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What kind of image is this? Is it a found image or created by the ethnographer (or a combination)? What is notable about its composition | scale of attention | aesthetic?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:48am

The image itself is created by the ethnographer. It seems like a snapshot, not particularly thoughtfully composed, but capturing an important moment. The haze is apparent in the atmospheric perspective of the surrounding jungle. I am struck by the lack of hurriedness of the fire-starter. He is relaxed and seems to be moving slowly through a routine that has come to shock the outside world only recently. 

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Can you suggest ways to elaborate the caption of this visualization to extend its ethnographic message?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:43am

I find the caption generative, meaning that it could be elaborated but that I appreciate that it prompts questions without too much elaboration. I don't think it's necessary to add more. 

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How does this visualization (including caption) advance ethnographic insight? What message | argument | sentiment | etc. does this visualization communicate or represent?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:40am

The caption and the image are complex, complicated in their implications and entanglements with personal sensorial experience and the muddled definitions of the language we use to talk about the issues of contamination. The image seems straightforward, but caption questions the notions of 'tradition' in landscape practices, scalability in agricultural practices, and even the idea of cause and effect in the ways we tell the stories of deaths 'caused' by the fires. The caption, therefore, reveals all the unstable layers of ways-of-knowing upon which our epistemology of toxicity is built. What is 'traditional'? When does the notion of tradition become exploited in the name of destruction? How can we possibly discuss the 'benefits' of landmines, weapons of war? How do threats of violence function as safeguards against contamination? How does contamination of violence compare to conatmination of ecological destruction? Who benefits from which types of contamination? I am confronted with how much I don't know, how much is left unanswered, and how difficult it is to disentangle warfare, post-conflict, and contamination from one another.

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