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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.46
Making Research Practice: the feminist researcher and everyday life
In her recent book Living a Feminist Life, Sara Ahmed reconnects feminist theory with everyday life. She argues that while feminists can become estranged from the world they critique, often through the process of naming problems, they also learn about the world from their efforts to transform it. This paper builds on Ahmed’s work to explore the learning possibilities available to the feminist researcher through two case study projects about women, textile crafts, and making processes as a means to enact change. Both projects also employ film as a reflective and reflexive device, draw on ethnographic methods, and understand research as a collaborative, co-produced practice. The first, titled ‘One Day When We Were Young’, involves Mah Rana, a craftsperson and researcher, and her mother who has early stage Alzheimer’s. It reveals how the practice of sewing together enabled a transformation in the power relations between daughter and mother/carer and ‘caree’. The second project, S4S Designing a Sensibility for Sustainable Clothing, involves a team of female researchers and examines the extent to which collective making workshops (knitting, embroidery, dress-making, repair, re-purposing) might serve as a means to engender a sensibility for sustainable fashion, promoting more ecologically friendly everyday clothing behaviors and choices.