Accepted paper:

Moving diagrams: the choreography of lives and houses in Cuba, and how to see it

Authors:

Martin Holbraad (University College, London)
Lucy Cash

Paper short abstract:

How do diagrams move? And what can they move by doing so? Based on filmic as well as textual ethnography of people's relationships with their homes in late revolutionary Cuba, this paper addresses the motility of diagrams by comparing it with the motions of social transformation.

Paper long abstract:

How do diagrams move? And what can they move by doing so? This paper addresses the inherent motility of diagrams by comparing it ethnographically with the motions of social transformation. It does this with reference to the experience of 'late' revolutionary politics in Cuba, homing in on the struggles of Cuban people to keep their homes functioning despite sever lack of resources. We explore the diagrammatic qualities of people's relationships with their homes, understood as confrontations with change at different social, economic and political registers. And then we set these ethnographic instantiations of the diagrammatic in tension with our own attempts analytically to chart it. The upshot, we suggest, is a choreographic approach to social analysis, that sets its object up as a set of differentials between paces and directions of movement. To chart this, we argue, text based methods can be complemented by filmic research and creativity, deliberately aimed at setting in motion the diagrammatic qualities of life (ethnography) as well as research (analysis).

panel Pol06
Diagrams of revolution: an experiment with social and material morphologies