Pushing myself to write more whilst the moment is here, but writing honestly and meaningfully requires getting through a lot of barriers and it feels like there is a lot of inner resistance right now. Resistance or just tiredness..? So hard to say… but at this stage, just trying to keep things moving, putting one word in front of another. Following on from my last post about Decentering Power, I wanted to share this drawing of my own experience of decentering dynamics (particularly given my recent experience of double caring during lockdown). With the outer world references in orbit.… Inner life: centering + decentering
I’m doing some research and creative thinking about how we reconfigure power, for real. In a way that really transforms lives, experiences and relationships. Using visual and sensory devices to keep with the material experience and achievement of change. One strategy is to think through the sticky points and divergences between two transformative projects challenging the centre and the centralised: the Tecnopolitica body of work; and a set of decentering power projects with a strong focus on decentering knowledge and whiteness.… Decentering Power, Whiteness, Knowledge, Ableism, Class, Gender, ETC.
Donna Haraway’s treatment of ‘Vision’ in her 1988 Situated Knowledge text is extremely helpful for my work, as it explores Vision in a political and epistemological context, giving a switched on academic framing to my use of (audo)visual research techniques. Haraway uses Vision as a metaphor to unpack ways of seeing, knowing and positioning.
She criticises the all-seeing Eye of the God-trick (the conquering gaze from nowhere that represents and marks bodies, while itself remaining unrepresented and unseen).
She advocates for embodied situated Vision that recognises and deconstructs it’s own positionality, specificity, difference, technologies and prosthetics for seeing; in the process making itself accountable, responsible, answerable.
She problematises ‘Seeing from Below’ and the vantage points of the subjugated:… Donna Haraway’s Vision
… Storytelling Research #2 :: ‘It’s Alive!’ // ‘¡Está Viva!’
As the old comic book exclamation goes… ‘It’s Alive…!’ And the aliveness of the Decidim community in Barcelona made itself known loud and clear during my fieldwork experience. ‘It’s Alive!’ is now the first of the storytelling devices I am using to both analyse and share the research. It started with ‘the sound of the hive’ [of the Decidim office] ringing in my ears after leaving Barcelona, and it’s still going. This sense of aliveness is now guiding me through an exploration of how collective intelligence works in Decidim.Barcelona and related tecnopolitical networks.
OK this is hard. I can dig deep and I can seek inspiration and I can enjoy all those precious moments with little one. BUT. But. but. Knowing that schools may not start until September, and even then there is the prospect of further closures over winter cold and flu season. AND. And. and. Knowing the rough set of emotional and material needs in the family (including my own). AND. And. and. Knowing that if any of us get ill, the set of needs on the cards will ramp up exponentially. ERGO. Therefore. ergo. This is hard. NOT EVEN TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the wider social picture. The doctors and nurses without sufficient PPE. The communities without doctors at all. The people living in loneliness, in hunger and/or in fear of an abuser. The challenge of ‘walking through the portal of Covid19 ready to imagine a better world and fight for it‘. ERGO. Bloody. ergo. Gotta prioritise and put in some space and structure. Gotta get to work.… Confinement Day 15 :: My Work
In parallel with the storytelling themes, I’m asking Who are the Storytellers? as a way of proactively problem-solving some intersectional issues in the research project. For example, key literature regarding my fieldwork with Decidim Barcelona has a very limited range of authors in terms of gender. In contrast, during my fieldwork, I could see many women authoring and creating Decidim Barcelona. In order to recognise a more accurate range of authors and creators, I am working with a broader idea of authorship in my research, and developing the profile of the Storytellers alongside the Storytelling themes.
To be continued…
I’m submerged in the analysis phase of my Collective Intelligence PhD and I’m enjoying the feeling of getting intimate with the concepts, turning them over in my mind’s eye and diving into the thoughts of the people who allowed my research to enter their world: the organising team of Decidim, the offline-online participatory democracy project of the City of Barcelona.
Work will start going public soon and I’m excited to develop storytelling tactics to give the material the best chance of travelling on it’s own two feet.
I’m working on three storytelling devices to carry all the more technical, formal and less accessible detail (outlined below). Meanwhile, I’m also exploring the question of Who are the Storytellers? as a way of addressing intersectionality in an integrated and pro-active way.… Storytelling Research #1