On the tyranny of Zoom, knowledge policy, flamenco shoes, and touching somebody’s shoulder

What is wrong with a Zoom meeting? Nothing. It’s perfect. A little bubble (or big, size doesn’t matter, marginal costs are zero, the more, the merrier), where you can convene and commune with each other in perfect harmony. Communication for all. Democracy enacted. Everyone can participate. Participatory turn. Erasing barriers, gaps, distances, divisions, frontiers and […]

On dancing with the shawl, faux pas, and being chiselled through research training

El mantón, the flamenco shawl, refuses to do my bidding. It refuses to levitate in the air in front of me, in order to then fall softly on my chest – like it levitates in front of my teacher and then falls on hers, right under her collar bones and covering her entire wide-open arms. […]

On power, self-doubt, and the collective nature of novel-writing

The day I held in my hands a book written by one of my supervisors (physical, i.e. IRL ink on IRL paper), the other sent me an email. The ones and zeroes assembled themselves to spell out, digital ink on digital paper: ‘difficult work’ and ‘tough ask’ (I had to etymologically trace the latter all […]

On vueltas, roots, and the (field)work of love

In Latcho Drom, a music film by Tony Gatlif, there is a footage which invariably enthrals me: a Rajasthani girl performing pirouettes. Her back is bent at ninety degrees to the rest of her body, almost parallel to the ground, and she uses her arm as the centre of the propelling motion with which she […]

On deconstruction, acute social theory overdose, and Guernica

In the first couple of weeks of my PhD, I made the mistake of reading The Structure of Sociological Theory by Jonathan H. Turner. It’s an old book and somewhat out-of-date (at least the edition I had), but I just happened to run into it in India and brought it home. Not that it wasn’t […]

On taking the space, or The choreographies of unfolding

It still feels like early days of my ‘research training’, but I have had ample opportunity to observe the problem of taking the space, both in myself and others. Women tend to be worse at this than men, but of course there are exceptions in both cases. I have been keenly and purposefully observing women […]

Preface

This blog is dedicated to you, my fellow artists/researchers. Do you recognise yourselves in this definition? Because I recognise you. My departure point is that everyone is an artist and a researcher. At least part-time, and at least in part. Some people don’t think of themselves as researchers, but we all are. We do research […]