Author:Alexandra D'Onofrio (University of Manchester)
Paper short abstract:
How do unexperienced existential possibilities relate to our past, our present and our future? How can anthropologists have access to these imaginary realms? This presentation aims to reflect on these questions by exploring creative practices such as storytelling, documentary film and animation.
Paper long abstract:
My paper is a methodological investigation into people's interior and imaginative worlds, as they form part of the stories that they construct to narrate their lived experiences of migration. One of my main theoretical standpoints consists in arguing that if we are to understand human experience, as anthropologists, we need to find ways to investigate other realms of being, which go beyond the visible, the factual and the verbal. Throughout my fieldwork in Milan with three Egyptian migrants and many years of working with people traveling without documents, I have realised that when recounting their own stories my informants have often made reference to perceptions that fell out of the linear structure of a coherent narrative, and went beyond a predictable temporal succession of events. The main methods I based my analysis on varied from creative storytelling practices, to filmmaking and animation.
For this presentation I would like to share some examples from our practice, and parts of the stories that can help us rethink ordinary ethnographic practices and representations in order to create space for what in people's experiences lies within an imagined possibility, constantly fluid and often beyond our grasp.
Possible/plausible/probable/preferable: concepts and techniques for realising futures [FAN]