Susan Meiselas - Encounters with the Dani
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- Hardcover, 196 pages
- Steidl; 2003
In her Encounters with the Dani, acclaimed photographer Susan Meiselas pieces together verbal and visual traces of encounters with the Dani, an indigenous people of the West Papuan highlands, from the nearly six decades that follow their "discovery" by the West. In this subjective, fragmentary history, she draws from the experiences of missionaries, colonists, anthropologists, and modern-day ecotourists, all of whom have come to the Baliem Valley and transformed the conditions under which the Dani live. The ambiguous relations between power and representation - whether in the form of Dutch colonial patrol notes from the 1930s, the sensationalized media accounts of the survivors of a downed U.S. army plane in "Shangri-La" from the 1940s, or a tourist's snapshots from the 1990s - become visible in Meiselas's book, through both the contradictions and unexpected continuities in the material brought together.