Pandemic – Photographic Fieldnotes

Assignment Topic: Pandemic Photographic Fieldnotes


Description-Pandemic Photographic Fieldnotes

Background: We have now been living with the Covid-19 pandemic for about one year. Many things have changed since last year at this time—in our daily lives, communities, and around the world. Although these changes are chaotic now, it is possible they will soon seem normal to us. What we are experiencing now, and what we think of as “normal” could also be different from what we thought it was one year ago, or even a month ago. Anthropology is good at recording and analyzing the ways changes small and large impact our daily lives and thoughts about the world. One way anthropologists do this is by writing down field notes of things that we observe and do during field work as well as our reactions to them. Then we can go back months later and analyze the field notes to see how things have changed over time.

Part 1:

Preparation/Recording data: For this assignment, I would like you take photographs of things that have changed since the beginning of the pandemic (or the beginning of our class) to create an ethnographic fieldnotes report around the theme of: “Life in 2021: One Year into the Pandemic.” You will only submit 3 photos for your final project. (Imagine you are preserving this information for people 20 years from now). These photos should be your own original photos you took. They could be from outside your house, inside your house, or even on your computer. It could be a symbolic photo or something literal. You could capture a photo showing life from your perspective, or from someone else’s perspective.

(1 of 3 photos could be a screenshot, but if you do that, you must explain how it personally relates to you/the people you are talking about). When thinking about what to take pictures of, think of things that are hopeful, meaningful, or difficult. Make sure you are capturing images of what life is like for you (or for a specific group of other people) right now in 2021. How have things changed since the beginning of the pandemic? How have things stayed the same? After you take your photos, look through and identify some themes that emerge. What do these photos say about this time period? What do they say about our ideas of the future?


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