03:51:37Categories: Anthropological notes, Blogging

Fieldwork and (little) blogging

I’m happy to hear that some Master students read my blog in order to prepare for their own first fieldwork. The idea of this blog has never been to inform about what’s going on in France, neither on findings in my own research, but rather to show snapshots from an anthropological fieldwork-in-progress - so I would love that other fieldworkers (to be) find inspiration here. As the research has moved into a new stage after I returned to Paris in mid January, the time is therefore overdue to provide some news from the progress.

My low blogging frequency recently is partly due to lack of time. Since I held my breath (out of fieldwork anxiety) and dived back into the Parisian slam poetry scene the 24th of January, I haven’t had many idle moments. As I mentioned in the previous post, French slam poetry has really taken off recently. I’ve started to film the soirées, in order to better capture what “slamming” is about. Just as blogging brings about (unforeseen) consequences for the fieldwork, so does of course also filming. It takes up incredible much time, but lets me study in detail the texts, but the performance, gestures, ways of dressing and interaction with the audience. Perhaps it was a bit shortsighted of me to not realise that the time I knew I would have to spend on filming would have be taken from some other fieldwork related task (as I’ve never had any free, non-fieldwork related time here, unless I’ve had visitors).

I still spend a lot of time in front of my computer, but instead of reading news on Indymedia or in the dailies and weeklies (on the election for instance…) or write for this blog, I write notes or convert and organise my videos. And of course, the more time I spend outside, the more material have I to work on when I come home.

However, I’m not sure if lack of time is the main reason for my reluctance to post here. I rather think it’s the stage of fieldwork I’ve reached at the moment. I’ve all the time been cautious to blog too close to my fieldwork proper, thus I practically never mention people I know well and go into detail on events I participate in. I think there are many reasons for this prudence and reluctance, some of which I’m probably not even conscious, just uncomfortable… One is that I want to avoid imposing premature interpretations which undoubtedly will happen if I write text to publish here. Further, the unpredictability of anthropological fieldwork does that I never know who will get an important role in my research later, and again I would feel uncomfortable publishing a premature description. So now, when I spend all my time with/studying people I know, I get fewer ideas for suitable subjects to write about.

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