The Shack: Researching Youth, Marginality and Creativity with the Camera in Cape Verde
Peter Anton Zoettl (CRIA-UM, Portugal)
Paper short abstract:
Non-fictional video is discussed as an "in-between" representational and relational form of scientific practice. The author's fieldwork on youth marginality was complemented by an open-ended filmmaking process in an improvised shack in the crime-ridden city of Praia, in Cape Verde.
Paper long abstract:
Based on recent ethnographic research that employed filmmaking as a method for fieldwork and knowledge production, non-fictional video is discussed as an "in-between" representational and relational form of scientific and artistic practice. In the present case, the author's fieldwork on youth marginality in Cape Verde was complemented by an open-ended filmmaking process in a low-income neighbourhood in the crime-ridden city of Praia, Santiago Island. The non-directional videotaping of the "clique's" daily routine—the members of which have different backgrounds as breakdance artists, former or active gang members, workers, students, etc.—in an improvised shack at the margins of a middle class district was conceptualized as an experimental and decidedly "incomplete" artistic practice that would eventually bring along insights into the dynamics of youth marginality and youth culture from an emic "street" perspective, dialoguing with the traditional anthropological research perspective. Resting upon a longitudinal and "slow" research strategy, the ongoing project seeks to capture (and understand) youths' life histories within contexts of urban marginalization both in an "immediate", image-based, fashion as in the form of traditional (text-based) ethnographic writing.
Digital (Sound)Pictures in/on/about Urban Africa