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Photography and memory: relations of transvestites with his portraits of childhood

Grant number: 13/11688-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2013
Effective date (End): September 30, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal Investigator:Andréa Cláudia Miguel Marques Barbosa
Grantee:Marcela Roberta Guimarães Vasco
Host Institution: Escola de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (EFLCH). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus Guarulhos. Guarulhos , SP, Brazil


The photography transforms the subject into an object, in other words, capable of being photographed. Taking a picture of someone is to take his or her image, imprisoning him or her in the film and through the impression, transform it into an object that belongs to the understanding world. Photographs gather dust, get old, create fungus, can be kissed, torn and even be taken to religious centers instead of sick patients (NOVAES, 2008). Its magic aspect lies precisely in its appeal to the senses. This way, it is shown as a possible ethnographic way of anthropologic investigation and memory mobilization, covering sensory and emotional experiences which are only possible in visual terms. Beyond of the sensitive object, it can also be understood as a material vestige of a past image. Barthes states that "In the Photography I can never deny that the thing was there" (BARTHES, 1984, p. 115). Accordingly, a childhood portrait of a transsexual, beyond of apprehend its sensitive universe and offer an evocation of the lite experience memory. It's exactly a material vestige the represents the belonging of determined gender category which her needed to disentangle through a marginalized and many times traumatic body transformation. Against this portrait it's impossible to deny the past. This way, the propose of the present work is to understand which relationships the transsexuals establish with their childhood portraits, taking the photograph not only as a historical document, but as an important ethnographic way of evocation of the memory, apprehension of the sensitive and mediation of the relations in the field. (AU)

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