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:
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.
I’ve missed some days here as the multi-multi-tasking burnt up writing time and space. But just finished a work deadline, little one had a nap today, we finally found out the landlord will fix the heating and I even managed to listen to a webinar on an Internationalist Response to Covid19. So.. back soon X
Writing sometimes feels like survival. Writing from the inside out. One word after another. One step at a time. Climbing out of the suffocating layers of precarity and non-stop circumstances. Getting a breath. Seeing some light. Filling some of my own space. Getting to grips with own agency again. Making a plan.
Feels like the emotional aspect of Covid19 and self-isolation is hitting home now. I think I was running on adrenalin for ages, getting everything ready for self-isolation. Now the tiredness and numbness is rising. Writing the first blog on this yesterday was helpful. Thank you. I realised that fear and tension were lurking in my being and I had to breathe them out, channel them, address them, rest… or this wasn’t going to be sustainable.
I was going to start blogging a research diary anyway but there is a whole extra urgency to that now under Covid19 confinement. I’m working at home with my little one, and my Dad will be joining us once we have all completed quarantine. Working as a single parent (and carer) regularly feels a like mission impossible. Now in self-isolation, the level of difficulty has now zoomed up again onto a radically higher level.
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.
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.