Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lucy Special: RAI's Anthropology of Sport Photo Contest

The photo contest forms part of the RAI’s Discover Anthropology Outreach Programme

The contest aims to:
• promote public engagement with the RAI’s Education Outreach Programme

• provide a platform for people to share their work and become actively involved in anthropology

• initiate activities and events in relation to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics

• develop awareness of the anthropology of sport and facilitate communication between practitioners working in media, arts, sports and social sciences

The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th December 2010

What is Anthropology of Sport?

Anthropology of Sport is the cross-cultural and biological understanding of sport in prehistory, history, and the contemporary world (Blanchard 1995). It analyzes the socioeconomic, political and cultural dimensions of sport and how sport influences the lives of individuals and communities around the world.

The submissions we are looking for:

Engaging photographs that explore cross-cultural and human elements of sport in relation to the following categories:1) Globalisation 2) Identity and 3) The Body

Below are themes that could be visualised under each category. They are meant to be illustrative and not restrictive. Applicants are encouraged to think creatively about how they can communicate these categories and relate their photographs to anthropological themes. Photographs can include aspects related to the world of sport such as spectators, fans, paraphernalia, media, and advertising, in addition to people playing sport.

Category 1: Globalisation

- the commercialisation, commodification and consumption of sport
- sports played out virtually, ‘dream teams’, Second Life
- sports in relation to power, equality and hierarchy
- sports and colonisation
- urban infrastructure and development as a result of grand sport events
- environmental sustainability/degradation in relation to sports upkeep/promotion
- youth programmes, community activities and regeneration projects
- media and technological advances in communicating, promoting and advertising sports
- global sporting events as a means for socio-political mobilization
- sports as a cultural product
- sports in relation to leisure and tourism industries

Category 2: Identity

- the formation of local, regional and national identities in relation to sports
- sports as rites of passage
- sports affiliation passed on through generations
- looking at the ways sports create boundaries of inclusion/exclusion
- how sports are linked to identities based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion
- how sports paraphernalia, sports equipment and the type of sports undertaken express aspects of identity
- religion and spirituality (praying before games, talismans, religious symbols or totems used to facilitate performance)
- sports achievement and socio-economic status
- sports as a means of organising social relations
- athletes as icons, ‘Hall of Fame’
- sports which identify themselves with counter-culture and resistance to the mainstream
- fans who recreate themselves in their idol’s image

Category 3: The Body

- pushing the body to its physical extremes, dealing with fear, danger, emotion and pain
- the relationship between mind and body
- the value of players based on performance -who owns their bodies?
- how bodies play interact with time and space
- the psychological and physical attachment to adrenaline
- the physical development of professional athletes
- cultural interpretations of beauty and aesthetics in relation to athletes
- athletes as icons within popular culture, body styling and modification as a part of forming athletes’ identities

Who can participate:
The competition is free to enter and is open to anyone within the UK and abroad who is interested in anthropology, photography and sport. Both professional and amateur photographers are welcome to participate.

Guidelines for submissions:

• All applicants must fill in the registration form which can be found on the following website: **Participants must complete a separate form for each of their submissions**

• To be considered for the photo competition, each photograph must be accompanied by a title and text of 50-150 words to be included in the registration form.

• Participants can submit a maximum of two photographs to EACH of the categories:1) Globalisation 2) Identity 3) The Body

• Photographers may not submit the same image to more than one category

• Once a photograph has been submitted, it is final and may not be replaced by another photograph.

• Photographs need to be submitted in high resolution JPEG/ TIFF or PNG format and sized less than 10MB. Please send submissions to Nafisa Fera, the RAI Education Officer at

• Submissions that infringe copyright agreements, are unethical or disrespectful of anyone will disqualify the photographer from the contest.

• The RAI is not responsible for any late, misrouted, lost or damaged entries.

• All decisions made by the judges are final.

• The prize is non-exchangeable

How will the submissions be judged?

The Royal Anthropological Institute has appointed a panel of judges who will assess the photos based on the following criteria: - creativity and originality of the photograph - quality of the written text and its incorporation and exploration of anthropological themes and ideas - technical quality of the photographs

All short-listed contestants will be published in RAI educational materials. In addition, the winning photograph from each category will receive a £50 gift voucher.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 10th December 2010

For further enquiries
Please contact the Royal Anthropological Institute’s Education Officer Nafisa Fera at or 020 7387 0455 with any further enquiries.