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This panel ignites discussion on the ethnographic and affective qualities of vertigo, the timespaces in which one may encounter the vertiginous and what theoretical advantages we may gain through focusing on the concept.
This session invites ethnographic and theoretical engagement with the vertiginous as ethnographic quality and theoretical concept. Contexts of dramatic social change, chronic crisis and omnipresent anticipated violence can conjure a sense of vertigo - affects of nausea, shortage of breath, anxiety, palpitations as life-worlds are sent spinning into an unnavigable vortex. A perpetually dizzying condition encompassing body, mind, individuals and institutions, the vertiginous has its more and less intense moments, but it conveys a lack of resolution, or endpoint. The vertiginous may be experienced by individuals battling long-term health conditions, someone living in a society stuck in permanent economic decline, or in a state where violence continuously seeps through the futural threshold to populate the everyday present. It takes hold when political rhetoric is at odds with material observation, in timespaces of emptiness, decay, disengagement, in complex socio-technical landscapes where technology co-exists alongside custom.The vertiginous may be experienced as time slowing down, going backwards or repeating itself in a continuous spiralling loop. It distorts perspective to create disorientation and confusion: Where and when does one belong on timelines of pasts and futures? Situations of heightened anxiety or anticipation can make the present feel elongated or uncanny, perpetually caught in the temporal ricochets between past and future. The vertiginous knocks one off balance, leading to questions of trajectory and belonging.This panel ignites discussion on the ethnographic/affective qualities of vertigo, the timespaces in which one may encounter the vertiginous and what theoretical advantages we may gain through focusing on the concept.