Playful Ethnography Belfast
The Playful Anthropology Workshop for MA students in Anthropology at QUB was embedded in the module Advanced Anthropological Methods, convened by Maruška Svašek. The course explores a variety of anthropological methods and ethical issues involved in anthropological research, and encourages students to experiment within and beyond the parameters of standard methodology. The course consists of 10 weekly two-hour seminars:
- Sound, Silence and Movement in the Field
- Walking, Talking and Visual Methods
- Research as (Online) Affective Practice
- Playful Ethnography Workshop
- Evocative Writing and the Senses
- Quantitative Methods
- Research Ethics
- Playful Ethnography Online Symposium with the University of Delhi and the Universit of Allahabad=
- Coding and Interpreting Interview Materials
- Reaching Audiences through Exhibitions and Performance
The workshop was a collaboration with the University of Delhi and the University of Allahabad, where postgraduate students played the same game in quite different urban environments. The students met to discuss and compare findings during an online symposium, where they presented Powerpoint presentations and showed the films they had produced.
Participating MA Students in Belfast: Arturo Eduardo Zacarias Aldaco, Alice Boyle, Niamh Connery, Anna Hollis, Kadence Hunt, Zihao Li, Muhua Liu, Rebecca Rice, Janette Stuart
Participating Visiting PhD student in Belfast: Selçuk Gündüz, University of Hacettepe, Ankara, Turkey.
Convenor: Maruška Svašek
Procedure: The students met on 13 February 2023 on the corner of Cupar Way and Lanark Way, (https://goo.gl/maps/K2p8jy2euGeZ6CuP9). The module convenor chose this starting point as it is the location of one end of one of Belfast many ‘peace walls’, which separate majority Catholic and majority protestant neighbourhoods. These walls are visible material traces of both the violent history of the region and the ongoing politics of reconciliation.
The starting point: the peace wall along Cusper Way
Following the rules of the game, we randomly chose set tasks and added a self-imposed task. The throw of a dice decided whether we would turn left or right. In each street we completed our tasks.
|Niamh and Arturo||Identify three smells in the street, write some notes about their source, and read these out while filming yourself||Bootview video clips 4 seconds and landscape|
|Take a photograph of something in the street that is brightly coloured. Film it while singing a few lines of a song||Take a video of movement in the street|
|Anna and Jackson||Choose something that is visible in each street and draw it. Then ask a passerby to describe the object of the sketch and (if they allow) record their answer||Take a photo that reminds us of hope|
|Bex, Jenny and Sophie||Write a poetic impression about the street, focusing on the sounds that you hear||
Act out a piece of graffiti or an impression of it
|Amaria and Mihua||Ask a passer-by why they are in the street and what they normally do to stay healthy and (if they allow) record their answer||Take a picture of someone’s outfit|
|Maruška||Take a picture of hair against a contrasting texture||Take pictures of the other players as they are doing their tasks|