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CURB Seminar: Grasping the Everyday Rhythms and Atmospheres of a Fish Market

Wednesday 22 February 2017, 3.00PM to 4pm

Speaker(s): Dr Dawn Lyon, University of Kent

This presentation takes two fish markets as sites to explore urban social life. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis (2004) and the embodied experience of moving through and sensing market space, I consider the value of using different audio-visual approaches as a mode of documentation and a medium of inquiry to analyse rhythm and atmosphere. The first example, a study of Billingsgate, London’s wholesale fish market, takes the form of an audio-visual montage of the market hall through the night based on time-lapse photography and sound recordings (with Kevin Reynolds, 2013). The resultant ‘film’ renders the elusive quality of the market and the work that takes place within it to make it happen, and allows viewers to perceive rhythm. The second example is a short ethnographic film about the everyday life of a wholesale fish market in Sardinia, Italy. The Passage of Fish (with Francesco Bachis, Felice Tiragallo and Antonio Pusceddu, 2015) shows sellers’ and buyers’ techniques of communication, evaluation, exchange, and care, and how social relations are animated by the market space, the material dimensions of market life and the alluring presence of the fish itself. Both films immerse the viewer in the material, sensory and affective atmosphere of the market. This talk critically considers the documentation, evocation and analysis of time and space in these ways, and the extent to which these approaches provide a means of showing social life and an analytic tool for making sense of it.  

Dawn Lyon is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent where she has worked since 2006. She was previously employed at the University of Essex, and at the European University Institute where she completed her PhD. She has published in the fields of the sociology of work, gender, migration, community, young people’s imagined futures, and visual and sensory sociology. Her current research interests include skill, value, the organisation and rhythms of work, affective relations across the human and non-human, and sensory and embodied labour in the fish industry. She is currently writing a short methods book on rhythmanalysis in Bloomsbury’s What is…? series. @dawnlyon65

Donna Lyon (large)

Location: W/222 Wentworth College

Admission: FREE - Eventbrite ticket


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