of White sharks and Caged Humans Raj Shekhar Aich 2022
ANTHROPOLOGY (SENSORY ANTHROPOLOGY, AUTOETHONOGRAPHY) 4500 492
Hardback JHM 1FK 2AB 3J,
Iridescent Skin is the first of its kind multispecies ethnography on humans and white sharks, entangled through the practice of cage diving at the very end of New Zealand. It is based on an immersive field work of marine anthropologist Prof. Raj Sekhar Aich, and his friend, research assistant, and anthropologist—Soosan Lucas, as they go in search of the elusive and mystified Great White Sharks of Foveaux Strait.
This is not a ‘shark book’, although it revolves around sharks in the classical sense of the manner. It is also not merely an academic book, although it is based on detailed academic investigation. Neither is it an exploration of shark behaviour or ecology, although they are certainly part of it, and no, it is not even a book about shark attacks, although shark bites are featured here. It is, on the surface, a sensory narrative of human and white shark encounters, but beneath the ripples, it is a story of love: among humans, rivers, oceans, bricks, stones, and sharks.
As Prof. Agustín Fuentes puts it, the book ‘invites the reader along…at the intersection of two sentient species, humans and white sharks.…The book you hold in your hands, is an enticement into the experiential journey of a scholar, artist and narrator who starts out with the goal of appreciating or assessing a multispecies entanglement, but ends up traversing a tangle of personal, social, historical, ecological and perceptual water/land/species-scapes.…This is an immersive multispecies anthropology.’