skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology


Entries judged by Adam Smith, Timothy Cooper, and Sophia Hornbacher-Schönleber

All submissions to this year’s “Images from the Field” competition represent a great achievement. All the submissions offer intimate and methodologically intuitive views into the lives of their interlocutors.

The judges would like to express thanks to all entrants for the privilege of looking at each set of images, and reading the accompanying statements and captions.

The judges sought to evaluate the submissions according to the quality of their visual content, the sense of human life and experience depicted, and the anthropological concepts thematically expressed through the combined visual and written parts of the submission. Taken together, the complete set of submissions is a wonderful indication of the complex diversity of innovative anthropological topics being sensitively examined by a current generation of postgraduate research students. One common theme across many of the entries was their interrogation of how images help us to understand liminal spaces between the public and the private.

The judges have awarded the competition prizes as follows.


First place: Angel Naydenov, Time and Sociality in China

The photos are well composed, with a curious contrast of grey environments, glowing fire, pastel-color offerings, and illuminated faces. The images capture movement impressively and draw the viewer in to explore. The camera focus and exposure are perfect. As a set, the images thoughtfully engage with people’s senses of temporality and remembrance, as these are expressed through flames which consume, inform, and entertain.


Burning money for Buddha’s blessing 



Second place: Maria Sakirko, Exploring Georgian migrants’ Sense of Landscape through Double Exposures

The student took a unique and artful approach to image production, collaborating with one of her interlocutors to make double-exposures layering together scenes from separate locations. The resulting images are visually rich, while also being provocatively contingent on the choices of the interlocutor, on risks of overexposure, and on chanciness of how the two layered images would look together. The accompanying narrative shows us the effectiveness of this methodological tool in the anthropologist’s attempt at understanding her interlocutor’s migration experience.


Little Georgia



Third place: Thressia ‘Ovi’ Octaviani, Very Sumba: Friendship Groups in Eastern Indonesia

These intimate and textured images position the camera as just one of a number of participants and the broker of just one of a number of different gazes, while also paying strong compositional attention to eye level, leading lines, depth, and color. The three images each invite viewers to explore the personal complexity of a very different individual, but they are tied together by a shared focus on recontextualisation of tradition-marked elements of Sumbanese life in the cosmopolitan and commercial present. 


A Rato (Marapu priest) reading a pig’s liver by the river of Kananggar village, East Sumba



Other entrants:

Caroline Dreyer

Thea Hatfield

Julia Roberts

Samuel Victor