Waiting Subjects: Social Media–Inspired Self-Portraits as Gallery Exhibition in Delhi, India

Dattatreyan, E. Gabriel. 2015. Waiting Subjects: Social Media–Inspired Self-Portraits as Gallery Exhibition in Delhi, India. Visual Anthropology Review, 31(2), pp. 134-146. ISSN 1058-7187 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In this article I reflect on a gallery exhibition of self-portraits by young Somali refugees. These images were selected from a collection of digital photographs that were shot while producing a collaborative ethnographic film project on the racialization of African nationals in Delhi, India. The images that my youthful interlocutors produced while shooting for our collaborative film project, however, were not originally intended for display but were an extension of their already prolific visual and textual self-documentation on social media. Utilizing select images and texts from the exhibition we culled from this ‘accidental’ photographic archive to evoke what it means for these young Somalis to wait for asylum in Europe or North America while they make their lives in India, I argue for an attention to the digital image-making practices of young people as a site where subjectivities are self-fashioned and ethnographic insights emerge.

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Delhi; ethnography; photography; photovoice; selfie; Somalia

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27 October 2015Accepted

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Date Deposited:

03 Jan 2017 14:45

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2019 20:08

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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