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The Requirement of Having a Body



In a project that explores the role affect plays in processes of place-making, children aged 10–12 were asked to record meaningful sounds about their home spaces. This focus on sound and listening reminds us that the body is very much entangled in, and indeed fundamental to, processes of subjectivity and place-making. The methodologies used in this work are, therefore, about techniques of researching through bodies, rather than an examination about bodies. This paper explores what researching place through bodies means, with a close reading of one particular response from a young girl who captured the sounds of her friend playing on the slide. In a conversation about this captured sound, she explained that the slide was where she can be with one special person who ‘understands’, but how she presented this relationship was in the movement of the body moving down the slide and the expression of affect and its release – a joyous call of ‘wheeee’ as the body slid down. This paper seeks to contribute to discussions around the moving and feeling body as a means to think geographically about the requirement of having a body, how the physicality of the body and its actions with (and within) affective states constitute a sense of place and notions of connectedness.