Seminar | Collecting Shadows: Viewing the World through a Child’s Lens
3 March 2022 5.00pm – 6.30pm (London):
Speaker: Sasha Flatau (LSE).
With the ethnographic setting of an indigenous community in the Colombian Amazon, this presentation is not only about the children who live there and how they see the world, but also the way in which they share their world with adults, interpreting and reiterating the things they hear and observe for one another’s curiosity and entertainment. In their native language, Cacua, the phrase ‘taking photos’ literally means collecting shadows or souls. Despite this eerie translation, there was great enthusiasm from the children when I introduced cameras into our weekly activity sessions during my fieldwork in their community. As the weeks went on, as well as being an activity that the children clearly enjoyed, ‘collecting shadows’ was also a way for them to express where they felt safe and happy in the community and where they did not. Later, making short videos gave them the opportunity to narrate anecdotes about things that had happened in these different places. Their stories and perceptive comments during these sessions often brought my attention to points that I may otherwise have overlooked, especially regarding the shadows of communal living.