Author:Silja Ósk Þórðardóttir (University of Iceland)
Paper short abstract:
This project studies the inner mechanics of minimalistic lifestyles through sensory and visual ethnography. It explores people's experiences of finding time when changing their approach to life, and ways in which they translate fewer things and more time into a sense of happiness.
Paper long abstract:
The poster presents an ongoing research project on minimalistic lifestyles in Iceland. Based on in-depth interviews, visual ethnography and qualitative questionnaire responses, the project investigates minimalism as a social movement and the diverse practices and experiences of individuals who decide to de-clutter their lives and adopt a minimalistic lifestyle. In most cases, minimalism starts out with dissent toward consumerism but gradually develops into a way of life. It goes from tidying up your home to tidying up your life. The project reveals minimalistic lifestyle as a way of dwelling in the world, as it involves a re-evaluation of every aspect of daily life, every routine, indeed one's whole life. A major theme emerging from the research is that of time - and this will be central to the poster. Time is a major concern in the home for my informants, as it binds together simplicity and happiness. Having fewer things to attend to is not only about having more space (the usual understanding of minimalism) but even more so about having more time. The research finds that for people who adopt minimalistic lifestyles, the time found is key. Happiness is found neither in things nor in crowds, but it can be made in the home with the people and things you love. What happens when people find time? What happens along the way as they search for it? How do they feel about that?
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