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This laboratory will explore participatory drawing as elicitation method, particularly for examining experiences of the life course, ageing and technology. What kind of knowledge does drawing produce, and how might it help us approach these affective and intimate topics? No artistic skills required!
Visual elicitation methods in anthropology have tended towards film and photography (Collier, 1957), with drawing taking a backseat and used more as a tool for documentation and reflexivity for the ethnographer (Causey, 2017). Yet participatory drawing can also be a powerful way to elicit research participants' thoughts and feelings in non-verbal media which can be especially helpful when approaching intimate and affective topics. This lab will include a short presentation about using drawing to explore one such topic: ageing and the life course - specifically the way in which ageing is increasingly being experienced with various technologies ranging from mHealth to telemedicine providing care at a distance. The presentation will feature examples from recent fieldwork conducted for the Anthropology of Smartphones and Smart Ageing project, based at UCL. During the online workshop participants will be asked to produce a quick sketch which will form the basis of group discussion. So please have pen and paper ready! This session will be an opportunity to reflect on our own experiences of ageing and technology, and to think about how drawing can aid ethnographic enquiry. We will conclude with a debate about the merits of participatory visual approaches in fieldwork, especially with regard to exploring the topics of ageing and technology. Please pre-register here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfSlQzNev3H2EbdEE3cxJA571ffnyF9i-qycIRX0928rOuvOg/viewform?usp=sf_link