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Transformation: dancers in motion

Laws, Megan (2013) Transformation: dancers in motion. UNSPECIFIED, GBR. (Submitted)

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The photograph was taken at Mabuasahube Pan in southern Botswana. It depicts a Black-Backed Jackal looking for left-over food at dusk. While tricksters are invariably known to have many guises, the Jackal features prominently in the myth and folklore of the Khoisan, southern Africa's hunter-gatherer people, as a common instantiation of this conceptual figure. Like tricksters everywhere in the world, the Khoisan trickster is both "selfish and altruistic, destructive and creative, weak and powerful... ever ready to change who, what, and where [he] is through transformation" (Guenther 1999: 107, 4). Like the trickster, the trance dancer depicted in the photograph opposite is said to embody this state with respect to ritual through transcendence by altered states of consciousness. Both figures dramatically bear out the basic principles of Khoisan religion, as embodiments of flexibility and dynamism. The use of motion blur in both images is a concerted effort to capture, in visual form, this cosmology of transformation.

Item Type: Audio/visual resource
Additional Information: © 2013 Megan Laws
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Sets: Departments > Anthropology
Collections > LSE Research Festival 2013
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2013 12:45
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2021 23:16

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