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Should I stay, or should I go? Teaching about migration choices with digital ethnographies [TAN] 
Andrea Enrico Pia (London School of Economics)
Marco De Mutiis (Fotomuseum Winterthur)
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Jakob Krause-Jensen (Aarhus University)
Aula Magna-Kungsstenen
Tuesday 14 August, -
Time zone: Europe/Stockholm

Short Abstract:

The reasons why people move and settle somewhere new are often poorly understood by those who never get to make such choices. This collaborative lab asks participants to explore what these reasons may be through a collaborative gaming session of The Long Day of Young Peng, a digital ethnography. To participate, please contact a.e.pia(at) by the 13th of August. Participants should bring their own laptops or preferred web-browsing devices.

Long Abstract:

Digital ethnographies open up new spaces of collaborative learning and provide an alternative to established modes of ethnographic storytelling. This collaborative lab offers a hands-on experience of The Long Day of Young Peng, an interactive digital ethnography used for a postgraduate module on contemporary China at the LSE. The game is based on fieldwork conducted in 2008-2009 and has been developed on the open-source web platform Twine. The game explores questions of mobility and belonging in the context of the largest peacetime movement of people in history: China's four decades of continuous internal migration.

The Long Day of Young Peng is an interactive storyline that uses ethnographic material to chronicle one day in the life of a young Chinese migrant. The player is put in Peng's shoes on his journey from his native village to Beijing in search of employment. The game is played in groups of four. The choices groups make in the course of the game will determine the people and places that Peng will eventually encounter on his journey to the city. The game ends in different ways depending on the choices made throughout the game. Should I remain in the village or move to the city? Should I send remittances home or keep them to myself? Participants are asked to think through the ethical implications of such questions and consider the roundabout ways in which migratory choices are taken in real life.

The lab can accommodate up to 20 participants, selected on a first-write, first-served basis. To sign up, please send an e-mail to a.e.pia(at) by the 13th of August. Participants should bring their own laptops or preferred web-browsing devices.