INTERNATIONAL VISUAL SOCIOLOGY CONFERENCE – A WEEK IN TINOS
Last week I spent a week in Tinos, a beautiful unspoilt Greek island just north of Mykonos in the Mediterranean. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinos
I am interested in how people see their world from both a business organisational context and within and as communities. I design and facilitate creative, collaborative arts projects with Imaginary Zoo and I wanted to see how visual sociolology could inform my work, provide different perspectives and to be honest, spend some time in the sun!
The conference examined the concept of ‘what you see is what you get – new ways of seeing society’ and I attended some fascinating discussions and lectures.
The programme included a diverse range of subjects and I was only able to attend a few of them.
I was particularly struck by the following areas.
Developed by John Gennet http://www.civil-dialogue.com/johns-blog of Arizona State University the Institute of Civil Dialogue.
“Civil Dialogue (CD) is a structured format for public dialogue that provides a tool to build bridges across the chasm of public viewpoints. CD can be used in multiple contexts to help people communicate in civil and productive ways, especially when they face “hot topics” and need to employ “cool heads.”
Essentially I see this as a methodology to recognise and listen to personal testimonies.
With a format and ground rules, Civil Dialogue provides a tool to open discussions across multiple perspectives, facilitate the development of both active listening and ownership of ideas in a Systems Thinking and Practice approach.
I can see a use for it in work streams where multiple stakeholders have the potential for conflict – a tenant community and their landlord or management company; between stakeholders from different parts of the organisation, for instance IT and Legal but also in the community where values and beliefs appear to be at odds with each other.
‘Sharing Seeing’ presented by Caroline Ali-Khan. An educationalist with the University of North Florida, she had worked with photo elicitation with school children in a Pakistan village with great effect.
‘Children are typically positioned as unable to participate as actors in the knowledge economy. Their insights and voices are seldom heard in educational spaces. Using image-based research the authors solicited the voices of children by encouraging them to speak to adults through multiple mediums.’
“Photovoice is a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique.”
Trying to think creatively – how and when could this be used as an elicitation tool for community engagement, representation and expression? Could I apply it in a business setting, by tenants to show what they see on their doorsteps? By members of different departments to show what their working day looks like?
Could it be used to develop community projects for disadvantaged groups, for generating visual media as seen by them as opposed to a presupposed view by someone external to that community?
I came away from the conference with some great ideas and had been party to some intense conversations. The sky was blue, as was the sea and it was interesting to spend some time in Greece at the height of this political unrest and come to a place where history has and is being made.
TWO NEW STORIES ON OUR WORDS
we have recently loaded two working life stories with vastly different experiences of Social Work in the UK and a fascinating insight into working at Paisley’s factories in the early part of the last century.
I think you will find that they are all remarkable.
If you want to interview someone you know so that we can add it to the collections, please contact us for some advice about how to do this.
Do you want us to publish your working life story?
Are you interested in volunteering as an interviewer?
Let us know your thoughts.
CREATING THE NEW COLLECTIONS.
Imaginary Zoo is in process of putting together our Collections. Stories not told, histories not spoken, voices not heard. These collections, bought together in one place, will be a resource for us all, providing us with some hope that we will learn from our history as we move forward.
Follow us to keep up to date with these new developments.
In 2005, Pauline and Esther Weinstein (a mother and daughter team) came up with a way of
helping people who after many years in employment had suddenly lost their
jobs. They set up a website WISEArchive in order to preserve the
stories they told us. The archive is still accessible on line but Esther and Paulne have now
moved on to fresh pastures.
However they want to say a big thank you to the many interviewers,
transcribers and other volunteers who have over this long period supported
WISEArchive in so many ways and to reassure them that all the material is
safely stored in the Norfolk Record Office. We also wish to thank all the
funders who have believed in us and our many well wishers
Pauline and Esther