14 SES 05 A, Multidisciplinary Approaches to Learning in and from Urban Spaces: Participatory Research and Innovative Practices - Part 2
In this presentation, I discuss photo-walks that 9th grade students conducted in their hanging out spaces as part of a geography learning project in Helsinki. Photography is an everyday practice while hanging out for many young people. This was the main reason why I decided to use it as a ‘mobile method’ for approaching the geographies of this ‘mobile’ phenomenon. Movement and playful immersion with the environment are characteristic to hanging out. Based on experiences of conducting my own photo-walks, I believe the practice of walking and taking photographs can serve as a tool for ‘knowing as we go’. Here, photography is inspired by the mundane action of drifting in the city. The aim of photo-walking was to encourage the students to reflect on their everyday hanging out spaces and practices. I discuss photo-walking as a process that can sometimes open up new pedagogical spaces of enchantment by paying attention to experience as it is experienced. During the photo-walks, learning happened with the spaces of hanging out. In contrast to common understandings of learning, this learning with the city is non-instrumental: it is making the familiar unfamiliar by paying attention to the particular in everyday spaces. Not all students were initially excited to conduct their photo-walks, but eventually the project proved out to be fun and thought provoking. Photography gave the students means of re-visualizing their city in a way that mattered to them. Reflecting on taken-for-granted, everyday things and spaces generated new associations and strenghtened the students’ geographical skills.
- Bennett, J. (2001). The enchantment of modern life. Attachments, crossings, and ethics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. - Fors, V., Bäckström, Å., & Pink, S. (2013). Multisensory emplaced learning: Resituating situated learning in a moving world. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 20, 170–183. - Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment: Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. Abingdon: Routledge. - Kraftl, P. (2013). Beyond ‘voice’, beyond ‘agency’, beyond ‘politics’? Hybrid childhoods and some critical reflections on children’s emotional geographies. Emotion, Space and Society, 9, 13–23. - Pyyry, N. (2013). ‘Sensing with’ photography and ‘thinking with’ photographs in research into
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