Drawing has long been part of anthropological research and communication, in the form of maps, field-note sketches, and kinship diagrams. But now anthropologists are increasingly recognising the phenomenal story-telling power of illustration as a way to return their research to the communities they work with, and to share their findings far and wide. 

This exhibition was curated by Laura Haapio-Kirk and Jennifer Cearns, with support from the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, where they are Leach/RAI Fellows in Public Anthropology. The entries to the exhibition were also judged by Dr Benjamin Dix, Founding Director of PositiveNegatives, who produce comics, animations, and podcasts about social and humanitarian issues.

A selection from this exhibition was shown at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool in November 2020 as part of Being Human – the UK’s national festival of the humanities. The exhibition will also be shown at Bloc Projects in Sheffield in the summer of 2021.

A learning pack designed to help students explore the exhibition and try out anthropological illustration for themselves is available to download here.

For further information email publicanthropologists@gmail.com.

Still from North Star Fading by PositiveNegatives and Karrie Fransman – Listening to the Voices of Migration project.