HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article in Spanish on Jean-Baptiste Vaudry, a French ethnographer working in Bolivia in the early twentieth century.
Combès, Isabelle, 2023. “Los aportes de Jean-Baptiste Vaudry a la antropología boliviana”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris.
French civil engineer Jean-Baptiste Vaudry (1875–1938) worked for the Bolivian government between 1902 and 1913 on commissions to delimit the borders with Argentina and Brazil. In the 1920s, he worked for several years in the tin mines of the altiplano. Although widely distributed at the time, the more than 500 photographs he took during those years fell into oblivion until recently. Beyond exoticism, they show Indigenous people from the Chaco, the Chiquitania, the altiplano and the valleys, in the most varied situations: workers on the haciendas or in the mines, in remote communities or in the streets of the cities, giving a realistic and lively testimony of a colorful Bolivia in the early twentieth century. In this profusely illustrated article, Combès minutely explores photographic material that was rediscovered in the 2010s, and explains how Vaudry portrayed a multi-ethnic Bolivia where indigenous people were in contact with each other within national society. Along with both published texts and unpublished manuscripts, Vaudry’s iconography is thus reassessed as that of an accidental “visual anthropologist” who gains a peculiar but important place in disciplinary history, and within Bolivian studies.