Fuegia Fashion. Fotografía, indumentaria y etnicidad.

 A wide variety of visual images constitute a heritage that records the Fuegians known in anthropology and history as selk’nam, kaweskar and yagan. From this vast array of visual images, photographs have been constituted per excellence as the expressive means of a reality, because a sense of “similarity” between the signifier and the referent commonly operates in the spectator. In this way, these images will be constituted in the setting of a scene of an existence, since they mediate a connection between the testimony and document of a doubtful cultural and ethnographic reality. This character that we grant to photography has driven us to ignore their particular condition as a meaningful surface, and remits us to a “fiction” which has been produced according to diverse visual procedures and mechanisms which are specific to the technical particularities of photographic “fabrication”.

This paper presents a reflection about the systems of photographic production through which actual acts of dressing, investidura and undressing of the Fuegian natives take place through concrete visual procedures and mechanisms. It is specifically interesting to question the installation of an aesthetic through costume and clothing, sustained in what we have called “Fueguian Fashion”, through which the photographer expects to generate a “reality effect” in relation to the attribution of an ethnic identity.

Palabras Claves
visual anthropology
Tierra del Fuego
Margarita Alvarado & Peter Mason. Instituto de Estética, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Docente Ámsterdam School for Cultural Analysis. Investigador Cooperante Proyecto Nº 7030040.
Revista Chilena de Antropología Visual - número 6 - Santiago, diciembre 2005 - 2/18 pp.- ISSN 0718-876x. Rev. chil. antropol. vis.