Shanti's Birthday: Reflections of a Tourist/Volunteer/Anthropologist

Karoline Guelke


While doing volunteer work in a Nepali village, I participated in the birthday celebration for a young girl. This photo essay includes nine of the photographs I took that night, showing people sharing food, dancing, and resting. My goal is to tell the story of my experience that evening, but also to question my own position and impact as well as to explore some issues of power and authenticity that arise with the practice of photography. Taking pictures is not a neutral way of documenting; it relies on, and in turn affects, power relationships between people.

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University of Victoria