Author:Eric Weissman (Concordia University)
Paper short abstract:
An experimental ethnovideography that emphasizes an overtly reflexive process in long term fieldwork with "street-engaged" homeless people in Toronto. This is the source video discussed in the paper, "Ethnovideography as Ethical Ethnography" being presented in panel WS126.
Paper long abstract:
An ethnographer and one key "participant" of a long term video study of homelessness in Toronto revisit and discuss the footage they made together over ten years, and uncover surprising "truths" about memory, identity and the utility of video above other tools in doing such nuanced investigation. Footage from the filmmaker's documentary "Subtext- real stories", is woven in and out of the participant's actual reactions to the film in which he is a participant, as it is viewed on a laptop in real time. The result is a unique look at both the street culture out of which the participant has struggled to emerge, and also the compelling force of video to help participants, scholars and other audiences to understand how truth is constructed in sensitive fieldwork. This is a gritty, sometimes disturbing, but ultimately hopeful film about one man's struggle with dignity.