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Welcome to Mérida and its surroundings

Welcome to Actually being there: the cultural

experience workshop
Actually being there: the Mario A Moreno Rocha
cultural experience Universidad Tecnológica
de la Mixteca
Welcome to Mérida

This workshop is the opportunity to immerse into the richness and diverse
variety of its culture

The workshop will use techniques of visual ethnography to capture, through

digital photography, daily life scenes and details which would give us an
outsider look into the inner culture

Along with its posterior analysis, we could built an idea to better understand
the culture
Workshop organisation

The workshop will last one day with two sessions of 1.5hrs during the morning,
and one more in the afternoon

A field trip will take place in order to collect data

Workshop structure

• presentation

• short introduction of the theme

• visual elements of photography

• field trip

• public presentation of findings / discussion

Workshop objectives

• Explore the basis of visual ethnography and digital photography interesting

to the workshop

• Categorise and organise the themes and subjects that would be of interest
for the workshop according to the participants

• On a field trip, participants will record data through digital photography

(video could be considered as well)
Workshop objectives

• Analysis of the pictures taken by participants. You will create a slideshow

with meaningful images, along with its interpretation

• Group discussion on the interpretation of the images in the context of the


• Obtain conclusions, hopefully to better understand the hidden part of the

culture iceberg through the experience form the workshop

• Enjoy the culture!

About me

I am a full time researcher and lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction at the

Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca in Oaxaca, México. I do have
experience on workshops organisation and teaching, having worked together
with Dr Christian Sturm on transcultural projects, I’ve gained knowledge of the
Mexican culture through travel and writing
Culture as an iceberg (Kohls, 1995)
Explicit culture, tacit culture

As a tourist travelling through a country, on a normal holiday length, one could

easily spot the visible explicit part of a culture (eg, music, rituals, dress code,
food and drink). However, in order to discover the invisible part of culture, one
must immerse into the culture, thus by living on it or by carefully studying it
Visual Ethnography

Sarah Pink describes ethnography as a methodology, as an approach to

experiencing, interpreting and representing culture and society that informs
and is informed by sets of different disciplinary agendas and theoretical
principles (Pink, 2001)
Ethnographer, me?

What is ethnography? how

does one do ethnography?
what is it that makes a text
photography or video

A particular method or set of methods that involves the ethnographer

participating, overtly or covertly, in people’s daily lives for an extended period
of time, watching what happens, listening to what is said, asking questions --
in fact, collecting whatever data are available to throw light on the issues that
are focus of the research (Hammersley, Atkinson, 1995)
Example of a visual ethnography study: bullfighting
visual elements of photography
1 steady camera: always maintain a steady hand aimed at objective
2 rule of thirds: divide the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically
2 rule of thirds: divide the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically
2 rule of thirds: divide the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically
2 rule of thirds: divide the image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically
3 keep the horizon level with the top or bottom of the viewfinder
3 keep the horizon level with the top or bottom of the viewfinder
4 fill the frame: fill the frame with your subject
5 lighting: to create a scene or an emotion
5 lighting: to create a scene or an emotion
6 leading lines: Watch for strong lines that lead to your subject
In brief

1 steady camera

2 rule of thirds

3 keep the horizon level

4 fill the frame

5 lighting

6 leading lines
coffee break
Welcome back
field trip
field trip
Planning the research

Generally, a good knowledge of

the culture is required

Should have an idea of how our

research practices will develop
in relation to local practices

Pilot study of culture: selecting

Ethics in visual ethnography

The ethic conduct of the


informed consent, covert

research, confidentiality, harm to
informants, ‘giving something
back’, ownership of data,
protection of informants
Selecting themes

We will select one or two

research central themes in
which we will focus our research

Presumedly, the theme(s) should

be included into those ‘tacit

Technology will be digital

status and gender

• religion

• signage

• advertising

• use of technology

• formal and informal

Welcome back
public presentation of findings / discussion