I’m still, here: shadow portraiture as creative spatial practice in research with children [Abstract]

Recommended citation

Mulvenna, A. (2018). ‘I’m still, here: shadow portraiture as creative spatial practice in research with children’, entanglements, 1(2): 67-88.

 

Abstract

Shadow-portraiture not only democratises the process of consenting to research creation (because we all have shadows, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability); it also affirms authorship while at the same time enacting spaces of and for enchantment within the everydayness of participants’ field sites (Woodyer & Geoghegan, 2012). Inspired by the use of anonymous portraiture on the Connectors Study to explore and problematise ethics of representation (Nolas, 2018), in this expérience, I discuss the emergent and affective geographies of shadow-play in the context of my recent PhD fieldwork with children aged 7-11 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Drawing on empirical vignettes describing photo-events that speak to the interplay of stillness and movement, I explore ways in which shadow-play challenges notions of photography and portraiture as entirely representational practices. In doing so, I explain ways in which, for us, shadow-portraiture was a most creative and playful mode of affirming authorship as well as individual and collective artistic agency.