Learning together: field research and inquiries among Capoeira practitioners in Salvador da Bahia and Barcelona
Paper short abstract:
The paper discusses the creative process of carrying out field research and theoretical analysis among Capoeira practitioners. From learning about to learning from, I suggest that anthropology’s relevance lies in the possibility of learning with the people we meet in the field.
Paper long abstract:
The present paper aims to discuss the creative process of carrying out field research and theoretical analysis among Capoeira teachers and apprentices in Bahia, Brazil and Barcelona, Spain. As "praxical beings", both anthropologists and the people in the field may think and act together transforming the world. First, I consider the implications of changes in status -from immigrant, anthropologist, white female tourist, and non apprentice to apprentice- as ways of relatedness and involvement in different contexts. Then, I focus on how communication was built and made possible in a series of small and unexpected -for both researcher and social subjects-"discoveries" concerning history, myths, philosophies and human nature. By "(de)mystifying" history, questioning differences and similarities and reflecting on "ones' own philosophy" and desires, the social subjects engaged into conversations that preoccupy people living in today's changing world. By shifting perspective from learning about to learning from, as Tim Ingold argues, I suggest that anthropology's social and political relevance lies in the possibility of learning with the people we meet in the field.
Moral certainty and ambiguity in research: anthropology's enlightenment legacies and the politics of ethnography