Agency and dramatic storytelling: roving through pasts, presents and futures
(York University )
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines dramatic storytelling as an affective ethnographic research methodology for researching and knowing how futures are lived, imagined, and acted upon in everyday life. It also considers how dramatic storytelling might help to re-envision an interventionist anthropology of futures.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines dramatic storytelling as an embodied and affective ethnographic methodology for researching, knowing, and theorizing how futures are lived, imagined, produced, and acted upon in everyday life. Drawing on the emergent interest in the imaginative, experiential, affective, and embodied realms of everyday experience; and recent ethnographic experiments situated at the intersections of imagination, performance-centered research, and storytelling, I consider how dramatic storytelling might foster agentic practices of reimagining and transforming futures and, ultimately, help to re-envision a collaborative, reflexive, and engaged interventionist anthropology of futures. At the centre of this discussion is my research project that employed dramatic storytelling as a form of ethnography to study the impact of post-EU accession migrations on the lives of Poland's non-migrant elderly Roma women. The quality of life for Polish Romani minorities has deteriorated in recent years due to prevailing prejudices, economic crises and resurgent nationalisms. Consequently, many Roma have migrated to the west since Poland's entry into the European Union in 2004. This has left many of Poland's Romani communities populated primarily by elders, unable to travel abroad due to advanced age and poor health. This paper explores how the dramatic storytelling sessions mobilized affective agency by facilitating a space wherein the Roma women imagined, constructed, and intervened in their futures.
Possible/plausible/probable/preferable: concepts and techniques for realising futures [FAN]