OSEA Experimental Ethnography, Writing Culture, ethnographic methods, fieldwork, experimental writing, anthropological theory, anthropological ethics, Emmanuel Levinas, ethics of Other, expanded documentation, staging of fieldwork, double sensation, ethnographic installation

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Ethnography: Fieldwork and Representations



Ethnographies are representations of cultural communities, forms, and processes. Ethnographies, traditionally speaking, are written texts, but they can also exist in other forms of visual media and documentation – such as art, video, photography, music, and performance. One of OSEA’ goals are to explore multiple media as tools to both trigger or elicit information and experiences as well as to document the pedagogical and investigative experiments; in short, we sought to expand the modes of documenting the ethnographic processes of fieldwork, but by acknowledging that our use of these tools as triggers also made them a part of the subject of our study.


Thus, in the course of the ethnographic training program we are continually documenting our activities in writing, video, and photography as well. We periodically mount exhibits and ethnographic installations that stage our research and pedagogical activities and products to stimulate a broader engagement with the community. These ethnographic performances installations, and exhibits, are in themselves fieldwork encounters and ethnographies in an expanded sense of the term “ethnography.”


Tourism Street Scenes.

Merida en Domingo on the left. Watching the street dancers performing traditional Yucatec Jarana. On the right, the city government of Playa del Carmen, on the Maya Riviera, tears up the main 5th Ave tourist street to put in better drainage system







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