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This lab proposes image-making and dramaturgy as knowledge production tools in examining the complexity of identity formation projects, offering speculative safe spaces in research, the (re)-writing of narratives, and representation, within and outside academia.
Academic research has long located identity formation projects in everyday performativity (Goffman 1956, Butler 1990). How do we extend this theoretical framework to include performance as engagement? In this lab, we look at the ways dramaturgy can be utilised in understanding, questioning, challenging, and re-framing narratives with participants. We will draw primarily from Stanislavski, Brecht, and Bogart. We will then look at how these methodologies can be placed within the image-making process of still photography and filmmaking, bringing in the tension of embodied research, that is, the 'sensuous scholarship' (Stoller 1998: 270) that involves the scholars' bodies (Macdougall 2006) as reflexive variables in the research-making process, which is itself confrontational and performative. These spaces have become even more relevant today, with self-representation in, and the representation and distribution of images presenting 'potential spaces' (Winnicott 1971: 2) for speculative futures. The lab will be a place for participants to create images that speak to the research process as well as the subject material at hand, and is for scholars interested in co-authorship and speaking to audiences outside the academy. Each participant should prepare a camera (the phone is acceptable), as well as a research project on identity politics that they wish to engage with visually. Interested participants should sign up by emailing psxcharmaine [at] gmail.com.