'It's a beautiful thing, the destruction of wor(l)ds'
(University of East London)
Paper short abstract:
Performance/ Presentation using photography: An anarchic conversation between a visual/urban sociologist and a theatre maker and performance studies scholar.
Paper long abstract:
The singular compelling imagery of 'occupying' as a form of resistance is its multiplicity of voices - the collective mobilisation of the 'multitude'. Yet, the force and urgency of a collective resistance lies in the individual untold stories of its proponents. Rather than glorify the movement as a faceless entity, the paper/performance embraces the daily stories, struggles and wounds of occupation, by using photographs. Resistant performances in Athens have gathered momentum over the last year, transforming the fixed landscape of a city into a platform for negotiation and dialogue. The research relies on entering the city through photographs in order to explore crisis, and new ways of being in the world. Documenting social change is highly subjective, and in this presentation the photographs perform, and resist singular interpretations. In the performance/presentation, photographs of Athens interject, enact, and embody the troubled city. The images 'do something' - they form a third interlocutor in the dialogue about how change is visualised and realised in urban spaces. We are arguing that resistance is a space of radical openness, in which the self is re-imagined in relation to its landscape - and in turn, the landscape is remapped. The concept of 'occupying' in resistance movements is performative, embodied and affective. It involves ideas and feelings, sounds, smells and words. Thus, this presentation format is that of a dialogue/ performance as the presenters attempt to resist discursive borders of social science and the arts by occupying both.
Photography as a research method