Methods on the Move: experiencing and imagining borders, risk & belonging builds upon and consolidates a long history of using walking as a creative method for doing social research with artists and communities on asylum, migration and marginalisation.
Walking methods are a particularly relevant and helpful way of studying borders, risk and belonging given that walking can involve physically crossing borders, going into areas perceived as ‘risky,’ or, literally walking the border. Borders can also be internal[ised] and walking is a helpful route to understand the lived experiences of others as well as eliciting rich phenomenological material.
Taking a walk with someone is a powerful way of communicating about experiences; one can become ‘attuned’ to another, connect in a lived embodied way with the feelings and corporeality of another. Walking with another opens up a space for dialogue where embodied knowledge, experience and memories can be shared (O’Neill and Hubbard 2011).
The intention of the Leverhulme Research Fellowship is to:
The project will also reflect upon the social justice impact of the collaborative research findings with the aim of enhancing knowledge and understanding of walking as a method across an interdisciplinary terrain-particularly for the arts and social sciences/sociology.
The research is undertaken by inviting participants to walk with me around a route of their choice on the theme of on borders, risk and/or belonging. The walks seek to explore the participant’s experiences, meanings, knowledge and understanding of borders, risk and belonging connected to the place /space chosen by them in conversation [walking interview] along the walk. Walks have been undertaken so far with sociologists, artists and activists.
The intention is to produce a web resource/word press site that includes maps from the walks, images and sound files. A book and articles on the subject of mobile, multi-modal and sensory methods will be produced in order to contribute to understanding ‘borders, risk and belonging’ in the 21st century and advance innovations in biographical and visual methods.
O’Neill, M and Perivolaris, J. (2015) A sense of Belonging: walking with Thaer through migration, memories and space in Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture Volume 5 Numbers 2 & 3 pp 327-338.
Haaken, J. and O’Neill, M. (2014) Moving images: Psychoanalytically-informed visual methods in documenting the lives of women migrants and asylum-seekers in Journal of Health Psychology 19(1) pp 79-89
O’Neill, M. and Hubbard, P. (2010) ‘Walking, Sensing, Belonging: ethno-mimesis as performative praxis’ in Visual Studies Vol,25, No1
Pink, S. Hubbard, P. O’Neill, M. & Radley, A. (2010) Special Edition of Visual Studies on Walking, Art and Ethnography, Vol 25, No 1.
O’Neill, M. (2016) ‘Researching Marginalisation with mixed methods’ in Liquid Criminology? Doing Imaginative Criminological Research. Edited by Michael Hviid Jacobsen, and Sandra Walklate. London:Routledge
O’Neill, M. (2014) ‘Body and Image-Space: walking, transition and belonging’ in Transit Lives: Memory and Nostalgia in Contemporary Art Edited by Dr Ming Turner and Dr Outi Remes, Liverpool University Press.
O’Neill, M. and Stenning, P. (2014) Walking biographies and innovations in visual and participatory methods: Community, Politics and Resistance in Downtown East Side Vancouver in The Medialization of Auto/Biographies:Different Forms and their Communicative Contexts co-edited by Heinz,C. and Hornung, G. Hamburg:UVK
This project is funded by the Leverhulme Trust through their Research Fellowship scheme.
Research starts: October 2015
Research ends: September 2016
Grant reference number: RF-2015-316
Professor Maggie O'Neill