VISUAL PARTICIPATORY METHODS. PERSPECTIVES IN ETHNOGRAPHIC RESEARCH
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
190 Av. De France – 75013, Paris
Salle du Conseil A
17 Octobre 2016
Dr. Andrew Irving
Directeur du Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology – Université de Manchester (UK)
In recent years, visual participatory methods have become more and more common in ethnographic fieldwork.
What these methods share is the active contribution of participants and researchers in the processes of
exploration, immersion and in the collaborative construction of knowledge. Their increased use among social
scientists, calls for serious inquiry into the role and stakes of participatory techniques in the ethnographic practice.
The epistemological approaches surrounding these methods are varied, and their visual theorization has been
treated primarily in anthropology and in sociology. Some well-known “visual participatory techniques” such as
photovoice (Wang & Burris, 1997), PAR (Mcintyre, 2003; McIntyre, 2008), photonarratives (Woodley-Baker, 2009)
and emergent fields such as sensory ethnography (Cox, Irving, & Wright, 2015; Fors, 2015; Fors, Bäckström, &
Pink, 2013; Gélard, 2016; Laplantine, 2015; O’Neill & Hubbard, 2010; Pink, 2015b), media ethnography (Postill &
Pink, 2012) and digital ethnography (Ardévol & Gómez-Cruz, 2013; Hine, 2003; Horst, 2016; Pink, 2015a) open
new horizons in the use of visual media in ethnographic research.
This diversity is engaging, insofar as it questions the relationship between ethnographer and participant in a
creation process where the (audio)visual device is shared. During this workshop we would ask you to reflect on the
stakes and consequences of the use collaborative approaches in your ethnographic practice, using your own
experience as a starting point. Of particular interest is how participants and researchers use these techniques to
develop participative (audio)visual projects in the field. We would also like to draw attention to the theoretical
reflections in which these methods can be framed.
Without purporting to be exhaustive, the following list of questions might be taken as a guide for our collective
reflection. What did we mean when we talk about “collaborative approaches” in ethnographic research based on
your own research experience? What is the status of “participation” in your ethnographic practice? What role does
reflexivity play in participatory visual methods? To what extent participatory approaches transformed the way you
were realizing your fieldwork? How the sharing of (audio)visual devices constructs a specific relationship between
the ethnographer and the participant(s)? What is the status of “engagement” in your visual practice? How did you
and the participants of your research “engage visually” ? What temporalities frame a participatory visual research?
Terms of submission
Proposals, in the form of abstracts no longer than 500 words, are to be submitted by 1st July 2016 to
firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also send video (no more than 5 minutes) or photographic proposals
(essays of no more than 10 images). They can be in French, Spanish or English. The workshop will be held in
French and English. Abstracts should contain a title, followed by an indication of the intended type of intervention
(oral presentation, projection, graphic exhibition).
We invite you to submit a proposal that encourages an active participation of the public during the Journée d’Etude.
“Unconventional propositions” (such as performances, experimental films, sensory experimentations…) are
No registration fees. This journée is free and open up to 25 people (that are mean to actively participate into the
workshop). Registration is required before 1 October 2016. This will be the occasion to continue the exchange
initiated in 2015 during the international conference organized by Last Focus Visual Research Network, Visual
Ethnography: Tools, Archives, and Research Methods. It will also the introductory session of a 2016-2017 doctoral
seminar at the EHESS on “Méthodes visuelles et sensorielles : pratiques transdisciplinaires pour les sciences
Carine Chavarochette (U. Sorbonne Nouvelle/CREDA) ; Sylvaine Conord (U. Paris Ouest Nanterre) ; Andrew Irving
(U. Manchester) ; Camilo León-Quijano (EHESS – LAHIC/IIAC – CEMS/IMM) ; Jacques Lombard (IRD) ; Anne
Monjaret (EHESS/CNRS – LAHIC/IIAC) ; Florencia Muñoz (EHESS – LAHIC/IIAC) ; Perrine Poupin (EHESS –
CEMS/IMM) ; Juliette Rennes (EHESS – CEMS/IMM) ; Joyce Sebag (U. Evry Paris Saclay – CPN)
Camilo LEON-QUIJANO – EHESS (LAHIC/IIAC-CEMS/IMM)
Anne MONJARET – CNRS-EHESS (LAHIC-IIAC), SEF
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS)
Institut Interdisciplinaire d’Anthropologie du Contemporain (IIAC)
La Société d’Ethnologie Française (SEF)
Laboratoire d’Anthropologie et d’Histoire de l’Institution de la Culture (LAHIC)
Last Focus Visual Research Network