Welcome to Mérida and its surroundings Welcome to Actually being there: the cultural experience workshop

Actually being there: the cultural experience workshop

Mario A Moreno Rocha 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 culture

• 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

introduction

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 ethnography?

Ethnography

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 themes

Ethics in visual ethnography

The ethic conduct of the researcher

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 culture’

Technology will be digital photography

status and gender
• religion • signage • advertising • use of technology • formal and informal communication

lunch

Welcome back

public presentation of findings / discussion