Returned not Remade: Visuality, Authority and Potentiality of Digital Objects in a Melanesian Society

Graeme Were

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

2 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter explores the politics of visuality in the context of the lives of the Nalik people of northern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea that is sympathetic to the ‘complexity and reality of people’s lives and thoughts’. It investigates how ubiquitous technologies such as the internet and digital heritage technologies impact visual systems in a Melanesian society, a region where traditional image-making itself is considered under threat of loss and where there have been widespread revival movements since the 1950s to protect cultural practices from global forces of homogenisation in the aftermath of colonisation and mission Christianity. Anthropology has been a productive field for documenting and analysing Melanesian visual systems. The chapter explores the ways in which digital technologies innovate cultural expressions and ritual polities. It reveals ways in which creative engagements with digital heritage tools and images re-orders the social by transmitting visually political authority.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTime and Its Object
Subtitle of host publicationA Perspective from Amerindian and Melanesian Societies on the Temporality of Images
EditorsPaolo Fortis, Susanne Kuechler
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781003158806
ISBN (Print)9780367260354
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 selection and editorial matter Paolo Fortis and Susanne Küchler.


Dive into the research topics of 'Returned not Remade: Visuality, Authority and Potentiality of Digital Objects in a Melanesian Society'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this