COLLABORATIVE VIDEOING - A REFLEXIVE ACCOUNT
Multimedia Information Retrieval Lab, Delft University of Technologya.email@example.com
In this paper, I present collaborative videoingexercise conducted during an ethnographic fieldresearch conducted at Sudarshan Layout, an urbanslum in Bangalore, India. AC3 Members, a group of local youth of Sudarshan Layout were the participant-collaborators in the collaborative videoing exercise.In this paper, I discuss collaborative videoing withinthe discourse of collaboration and reflexivity fromthe domains of visual anthropology and designresearch. I argue that collaborative videoing is aninformally structured approach which served as aboundary object during the research process. Ireflect on how collaborative videoing, as boundaryobject, facilitated this research at Sudarshan Layoutand assisted in collaboration, communication andcooperation between participant-collaborators andme.
Keywords: Video, Collaboration, BoundaryObjects, Reflexivity
This paper is based on findings of an ethnographicfield research conducted at Sudarshan Layout, anurban slum in Bangalore, India in February 2009. Thefield study was part of my master’s thesis (title:Design Opportunities and Challenges in Indian UrbanSlums- Community Communication and MobilePhones). The thesis investigated the area of mobile-based community communication for marginalizedcommunities belonging to Indian urban slums. Theresearch question which this study addressed was:What are the design opportunities and challenges formobile based community communication services for
* This paper presents research done by the author when he wasenrolled at Aalto University School of Art and Design, Finland forhis master’s studies.
residents of Indian urban slums? In this article, Iexclusively discuss the collaborative videoingexercise, which assisted this design research projectin various ways.The methodological approach taken in this researchis inspired by Ethnographic Action Research (EAR)and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). EAR is theresearch approach to study impact of Informationand Communication Technology (ICT) especially inthe area related to poverty alleviation (Tacchi et al.,2003). PRA is a research methodology whichadvocates bottom-up research approaches withflexible and innovative mix of various methods andsensitivity for the local context (Kumar, 2007). BothEAR and PRA insists on use of participatory methodsto engage participants as fellow researchers, andsuggest adaptation of the research process accordingto challenges faced in the field. This participatoryresearch was conducted in collaboration withmembers of Ambedkar Community Computing Centre(AC3), referred as AC3 Members, a group consistingof local youth of Sudarshan Layout. The researchmethods employed for this study were: participant-observation, field notes, group interviews, in-depthinterviews, social map drawing exercises and self-documentation through camera exercises. ‘Self-documentation’ exercises involve the creative use ofmedia, such as photography or videography, in theresearch process by allowing people to documentthemselves and their environment.In this paper, I focus on collaborative videoingexercise conducted in collaboration with AC3Members. I discuss collaborative videoing within thediscourse of collaboration and reflexivity asoriginating from the domains of visual anthropologyand design research. My main argument is thatcollaborative videoing is an informally structured