Accepted Paper:

Rebuilding homes  


Vilborg Bjarkadóttir

Paper short abstract:

The study explores how people experience the transformation of their bodies during and following an accident. The poster will focus on how people use narrative techniques as means of patching up the broken somatic homes in which they have dwelt throughout their lives.

Paper long abstract:

We all dwell in within our own bodies, but when the body has an accident it

is as if home has been broken and the person within made, at least temporarily homeless. Drawing on interviews with people who have had serious accidents the study focuses on people´s bodily experiences during and following accidents when they experience certain detachment from their own bodies, seeing it as uncanny. Discovering that the body is not as it used to be; the person finds her or himself facing disabilities, altered appearance, chronic pain and so forth.

In analyzing the ethnographic material attention has been directed to how the interviewees gradually reaccommodate themselves in their bodies, finding ways to make their bodies home again. Unlike the snail that can go in and out of his house and leave it behind, humans are limited to the same body for life and have to make best of it, whatever happens.

The poster presents findings from the study on the way the interviewees use narratives as a form of rebuilding and redecorating their bodies. Building on the metaphor of the body as home, the poster offers and analysis the narratology of accident narratives. Supplementing the narrative account with photographic materials and drawings based on the imagery and metaphors by the interviewees as means of describing physical changes that occurred to their bodies during and after accident, the poster reflects the findings of the study in terms of how narrative are used in the process of healing.

Panel Post01
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