Ethnography as creative improvisation: Exploring methods in (post) pandemic times

Maruška Svašek


This article discusses the possibilities and limitations of digital creative methods developed by the author in response to lockdown and social distancing regulations. Building on prepandemic research, the analysis focuses on remote fieldwork in 2020 and 2021 with a small number of migrant women who live in Northern Ireland. It zooms in on three interlocutors and shows how long-distance painting, online walking interviews, and photo diaries have not only offered the opportunity for virtual “hanging out” and the development of long-term field relations, but have also been crucial to the visualization and discussion of emerging research themes. The main argument is that the three exploratory methods, used in this case to investigate the embodied experiences and aspirations of migrants during the ongoing pandemic, are potentially relevant to a wide range of pandemic and postpandemic research projects.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/725341