~Mini Ethnography~

Location Shrewsbury Library

My forced comfort zone would be to conduct a planned and well-structured study with well articulated questions and a concrete set structure. This would merely be to ensure I did it ‘right’. This is not really my authentic way of working as I find intuition more preferable and this allows thinking to unfold in unexpected ways.

I had planned to visit the library but did not anticipate how much my morning reading would influence my perceptions of the encounters with objects-both inside and outside the building. I had just finished reading the journal article about the girls in the Welsh mining town and hence my thinking was very much attuned to a feminist frequency.

I used my iPad Air to take some photos outside and was led to reflect on the positioning of 2 statues. Charles Darwin is central to the outside space, whilst Mary Webb is positioned on the side-lines.


On entering the library the context of the current pandemic was very apparent, although in a friendly a child-like way (see the images of the floor markings).Here are some photos.

After being assigned a desk again my feminists lens emerged. As my glance looked at the bookshelves that encased the desk, again I was drawn to the androcentric collection.  

See the images.

Reflections:

Working in what seems to be a “diffracted methodology” enabled more freedom of expression and knowledge. This is an area to engage in.

My prior engagements (in reading in the morning) very much influenced my perceptions. Here I have not interrogated this level of subjectivity; I have merely acknowledged it.

I was not paying too much attention to people in this task. Usually my mind-wandering is very much centered around people.

Again, I was not attuned to sounds and smell -which are often things I notice.

I thought I might be engaged by the post-human aspects of my reading as these caught my imagination and the brunt of my highlighting and annotation (the idea of hauntings in historic spaces was of inteerest as was the idea of the camera as an object), yet these did not cross my mind in the mini ethnography.

It made me reflect on how I use film as an extension of my brain or as a kind of assistive technology. I make videos not for an external audience but rather as a way to remember and process the events afterwards.

Recently I have been using film in other ways- to share the events of my nephew’s first weeks on planet earth with my grandma (the baby’s great grandma). In the current situation my grandma (93) is in a care home and cannot see people in person, yet we have used moving and still images to document baby Archie’s first few weeks.

My grandma has Dementia so like how I use film to revisit events and process information, hopefully this can be a way she can revisit baby Archie. The videos are now with her and a constant that can be revisited by her when she pleases.

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