Seeing Cellular Debris, Remembering a Soviet Method
Session of the seminar of the Chair of Anthropology and Global Health with Ann Kelly, Kings College, London, Royaume-Uni.
A 1962 photomicrograph of a mosquito taken in what was then a Tanganyikan mountain laboratory provides a prompt to consider the social salience and affective power of scientific images. Drawing inspiration from anthropological work on photographic practices, the paper excavates the diverse geopolitical and domestic contexts of the image’s production, consumption and circulation, so as to apprehend the relationship between scientific labours and lives. As much souvenir as ‘epistemic thing’, the photomicrograph provides new directions in thinking about the materiality of memory in tropical medicine.