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Action Needed As American Diggers Goes International

As the Spike TV show American Diggers goes international, AAA Executive Board Member, Sandra L. Lopez Varela has a special request in today’s guest blog post.

The American Anthropological Association is supporting the petition of our fellow Spanish archaeologists to stop the airing of “Un Tesoro Bajo Tus Pies”, through Discovery MAX: http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/discovery-max-que-se-retire-el-programa-un-tesoro-bajo-tus-pies

This television series is the translated version into Spanish of “American Diggers”, produced by Spike TV, and that the AAA, along with other professional organizations, strongly opposed to, back in March of this year, as it wrongly represents archaeology as a treasure-seeking adventure. Committed to the scientific stewardship of the past, the AAA has sent letters to the corporate and international management of Discovery Enterprises inviting them to follow up the example given by National Geographic Channel and to initiate a similar dialogue with professional associations and archaeologists to promote an educated depiction of archaeology. But above all, the AAA has expressed its deep concerns about the potential looting and subsequent illegal trade that Discovery Communications are promoting around the world by airing “American Diggers” internationally, through their affiliated sister networks. We invite you to support this initiative and increase the voices expressing that the content of “American Diggers” is contrary to the ethics of archaeological practice.

Sandra L. Lopez Varela, Ph.D., RPA
Archaeology Seat, Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association

Photo Friday

The 2011 AAA Photo Contest is a showcase of anthropology at its best. Of the 93 photos submitted, AAA members selected their favorites in each of the four categories: Practice, People, Place and Process. You can view the top 20 photos in Anthropology News. Here on the AAA blog, we will feature several of the photos in this blog series, Photo Friday.

Title: Place Jemaa el Fna—Arret sur
Photo Courtesy of Maryse Morin
Contest Category: Practice
Caption: This photography seems to beg to ask: In what space and time is this taking place? Is this a Rembrandt? A Delacroix? Or is it photography? While the bird’s eye view participate in questioning the form, for the acute eye, this “arret sur image” reveals objects and actions conjugated at the present tense superposing past and actual practices where transit locals, nomads and tourists. Time is being stopped in a multi-layered storytelling of immaterial quality. The place is “Jemaa el Fna,” declared by UNESCO Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. In my visual anthropology practice, I am particularly interested in drawing from interstice places where emerge and overlay more than one reality.

Look for details on the 2012 AAA Photo Contest in late April!

Missed last week’s photo? Click here.

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