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‘So, as you can see . . .’: some reflections on the utility of video methodologies in the study of embodied practices

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Abstract

Recently there has been a significant upsurge in the use of video methodologies in the study of the geographies of everyday and artistic practices. This paper seeks to contribute to this growing interest in a very particular sense, by thinking critically about what video does and does not offer to the study of embodied practice. Grounding this discussion in recent developments in the theorisation of practice, and related calls for further methodological thinking, the paper draws on the use of video in the study of the practice of street performance – and particularly the giving and receiving of donations within this and the contingency of the affective relations they produce – to show that while video can capture the minute detail of practices and allow for the close analysis of this, video in and of itself does not necessarily present or give a sense of the affective relations present in such encounters. The paper argues that video be incorporated into a broader ethnographic methodology in which the researching/researched body is central.

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