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Hooray! We are celebrating our 10-year anniversary in 2023! The celebrations will be themed around the future of arts.

Workshop by Monika Salzbrunn, Raphaela von Weicsh, Federika Moretti & Sara Wiederkehr: Ethnographic Madeleines, a workshop on sensorial methods for ethnographic inquiries.

For more than a decade now, (multi)sensory ethnography has been established in the canon of methodology (Pink, 2009, 2015; SEL, 2010; Salzbrunn, 2015; Jackson, Benson, Calafate-Faria, 2019). Despite its innovating potential, its practice remains still limited and has not yet entered the general canon of sociology. As artistic creations appeal to several senses, we invite researchers dealing with the sociology of arts to experience multisensory methods, which allow to research artistic practices on the one hand, and to use artistic techniques on the other hand. More precisely, this interactive workshop invites reflections on the ways our perceptions and understandings of the environment are filtered by our bodies, minds, backgrounds and contexts. We will explore ways of experiencing the field with our senses, and on how to communicate observations and feelings through methods that go beyond words.

Participants are invited to join a sensory journey through scents, tastes and movements.

The aim of the workshop is to incite participants to increase their sensorial awareness on the ways a field can be experienced, interpreted and narrated, so to encourage them to experiment with other forms of expression, such as drawing.

Practical information

How can we approach the senses in times of crisis? During this past year, the pandemic has had profound impacts on several aspects of our lives, and home working has become an obligation in several countries. The constraints of lockdown changed the perceptions of the home environment, and our relation with the senses. As an example, because of the virus, touch has almost become a forbidden sense, and for some who were affected by the disease, taste and smell were just a souvenir.

During this online workshop, participants will be invited to observe and experience their (home) environment and surroundings through the senses, and to express themselves through drawings. In particular, we will concentrate on taste, smell, movement and touch.

After a theoretical-methodological introduction, the participants will have 40 minutes for the practical exercise. The last part of the workshop will be focused on a discussion based on the drawings of the participants.

A selection of texts on graphic and sensorial methods will be available to interested participants, so to deepen their understanding on these methodologies.

The foreseen duration of the workshop is approximately 90 minutes.

No preparation is necessary except a desire to engage in creative practices and to prepare drawing material: paper (or screen) and pen. The rubber is banned. There is no need for drawing skills, since it is not the ‘beauty’ of a drawing, but the experience of sensing and drawing that is asked for, true to the motto ‘everybody is an artist’.

This workshop is organized by the research team of ARTIVISM. Art and Activism. Creativity and Performance as Subversive forms of political expression in Super-diverse Cities, a project funded by the European Research Council (ERC). This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (ARTIVISM – grant agreement No 681880):

Participation possible upon registration.

Number of participants: 16