Paper short abstract:
Drawing on new technologies to communicate the findings from applied research with families participating in a community music project in England, I consider the politics and challenges of representing a community to the participants, to others in their community and to national and international audiences.
Paper long abstract:
There has been increasing pressure for anthropologists to extend the reach of their research and so communicate their ideas and thinking to new publics and to actively engage in national and international debates relating to their field. Anthropologists participating in applied research are concerned with exploring the transformative potential of the research, and so reflexively consider how the development of (new) methods and altered perspectives for both the researcher and the researched can be captured and communicated. However successive examples of anthropologists communicating to wider audiences indicate that this is not an unproblematic practice, and that the politics of representation involve the anthropologist in considerations of the sometimes conflicting dimensions of the moral, ethical, political, social, personal and academic.
This paper is concerned with these end stages of research - my thinking behind the challenge of communicating the learning from a music project for children to their wider local community and also to national and international audiences. The project is based at a primary school in Liverpool, England, in partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, inspired by the El Sistema initiative in Venezuela. To explore how children's participation relates to their homelife I worked with 10 families over a period of 6 months using a combination of interviews and observation, and made photographs of people and objects and audio-recordings voices and music. Here I consider issues of authenticity and othering when using a visual and audio display to communicate the findings firstly to their community and then to other audiences.
Applied anthropology as a source of innovation (EASA Applied Anthropology Network)