Staff, 2023-01-04 00:57:50,
“Travel appears […] as a means of clearing one’s eyesight”
– Michel Leiris
Michel Leiris (20 April 1901 – 30 September 1990) was a French surrealist writer and ethnographer. Part of the Surrealist group in Paris, Leiris became a key member of the College of Sociology with Georges Bataille and head of research in ethnography at the CNRS.
His journeys to Africa were part of linguistic and ethnographic missions. In 1931, he worked as the “secretary-archivist” for a two-year expedition across sub-Saharan Africa. His account of that trip appeared in his first book L’Afrique fantôme, images from which you can see here.
The work combined both an ethnographic study and an autobiographical project, which broke with the traditional ethnographic writing style. Upon his return, he started his practice as an ethnographer at the Musée de l’Homme, a position he kept until 1971.
Work was intended to record and safeguard indigenous cultures, held to be intact, threatened with disappearance by acculturation as a result of colonisation. Lots of the local culture disappeared as booty, hauled back to private collections and museums in…
To read the original article from news.google.com, Click here