Withnessed and Recorded
WRITEEN and VISUAL STORIES on HIGH ASIA
How current anthropology contributes to make cultural diversity more understable and estimable
Before undertaking any socio-environmental/cultural project is fundamental conducting an intense social research to know the many dimensions of the cutural systems found there. If anthropology is considered a social science is because of its exhaustive method of data collection and posterior analysis, and data collection process, in turn, demand a set of dense fieldwork campaigns. Nowadays. the tecniques, the methods, the tools, the ways, the priorities and the approaches have changed when the time to carry out the crucial anthropological phase of the fieldwork comes. Incomes and outcomes has drastically been improved both quantitatively and qualitatively, since Clifford Geertz advocated the relevance of the "dense description", with an ethnographer totally dedicated to unravel the "cultural codes" encripted on the "cultural landscapes", with a researcher dinamically acting at the same time within and around the subjects and the enviromental context to be studied. Thus, to the classical written ethnographies the modern technologies have added the visual ethnograhies. based on filming and photography, and other innovative ways of showing and interpreting the findings. Also, Renato Rosaldo stressed the importance of reflecting the power of emotions, as well as the need of incorporting the point of view and the own narrative techniques of the "natives" rapporteurs, incluiding orality, singing, reciting. That´s way we prefer to say "stories" more than just ethnographies studies.
THE GENERAL GUIDELINES OF THIS PROJECT ARE:
- The cultural itinerary is designed to describe emblematic crossroads along the ancient Silk Road route and other related ancient trading routes inserted on the High Asia environment (Tea, Spices, Salt, etc.).
- The scenarios has been selected to know specific peoples living in specific ecosystems, such as farmers, abro-pastoralists, mobile pastoralists, and itinerant communities scattered throughout the broader cultural space known as Eurasia.
- The research will be carried out on the basis of the usage and recreation that these human groups have made of the unique alpine tundra environment to create traditional food systems. It will also show the remains of the matriarchal societies and other gender specificities, as well as the current state of the daily tension between traditions and innovations on a set of activities.
First outcome: TSAMPA, a double Written / Visual Narrative of Food in the highest Earth´s ecosystems
4 parallel stories
- A metaphor of human evolution and Earth colonization, from the warmer ecosystems to the coldest ones as mountains, the less hospitable places to live.
- An ascending environmental-nutritional itinerary across the elements composing Tsampa: tea, barley, butter and salt; and a food cultural trip from the native rice and spices to the dry meat and diary products, taking into account indigenous unique foodstuffs.
- A historical-cultural journey along the southern section of Silk Road and Tea Horse Route.
- An anthropological journey to visit one of the most relevant area of the world in terms of biocultural richness and diversity
Tsampa is the first of the a series of ethnographic studies in the field of the social sciencies (history, anthropology, art) to show the surviving Nomadic Food Systems of Eurasia.
The studies have been designed to take shape by two different mediums: