DIY Anthropology: Epistemic partners and the crisis of disciplinary knowledge
(Humboldt University of Berlin)
Adolfo Estalella (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
Paper short abstract:
An account of DIY transformations impinged on our anthropological practice in a context of urban and financial crisis in Spain 'peripheralising' disciplinary knowledge with our epistemic partners in the field.
Paper long abstract:
The global financial crisis at the beginning of the decade brought a period of political unrest in Spain. Despite the crisis (or maybe because of it) its cities experienced a moment of political creativity and urban inventiveness. In this context, many kinds of peripheral knowledges blossomed: This happened against the background of a deep unrest and mistrust with regards to expert-based and disciplinary knowledges. Thrown into the urban landscape left behind by austerity urbanism policies we worked intimately with architects and neighbours turned into 'insurgent' and inclusive urban planners, and collaborated with activist designers and people with functional diversity. Sharing these circumstances with what we came to call 'epistemic partners' in the field required us to undergo a deep mutation in the ways in which we undertook anthropology: We were confronted from the onset with the ways in which institutional forms of epistemic authority were put in crisis, including ours. Unexpectedly, we found in them the companions we lacked in the local academic/disciplinary context. With them we learned to problematise the contemporary situations of crisis and precariousness. From them we learnt how to arrange and care for inclusive ambiences to think together. We also had to learn how to foster ambiences to make them participate in our academic and institutional contexts, in a gesture 'peripheralising' our disciplinary boundaries. Mirroring the makeshift city growing in front of our eyes, our anthropological practice also grew in the peripheral disciplinary interstices: a DIY anthropology, done together with our epistemic partners?
Peripheral wisdom [#Colleex network]