Project Meeting in London
On September 10 and 11, representatives for all the seven national teams of EUMARGINS met in London for a 2-days project meeting. The meeting was hosted by Professor Les Back and Dr. Shamser Sinha at Goldsmiths College in New Cross (South East London). In this meeting, in addition to the indoor sessions dealing with important methodological and analytical issues relevant for the forthcoming months, the researchers had a practical session in the streets of London, with aims of getting better at how a camera might visualize manifestations of inclusion and exclusion of young adult immigrants.
A main theme for the meeting was devoted to methodological discussions based upon the recent interviews done by the teams. Securing a shared theoretical and methodological platform is essential in order to achieve a comparable database of field work material, and frequent group discussions and comparisons are indispensable. Interviews are being accomplished in different languages, and large efforts are being put into translations and well-developed abstracts in order to make the interviews and observations done accessible to the different national teams of the project group.
The London meeting provided a practical session with ambitions of highlighting and developing the use of visual methods in the field. Les Back presented “Visual methodologies, multi-media possibilities”; an introduction to how a camera might be used as a fieldnote writing and storing device, and also about how it is a way to bring reality close and give access to areas of life which can’t be done by interviews. After the indoor multimedia introduction, the researchers went “into the field” with their cameras and put knowledge into practice. The pictures taken were compared and discussed briefly the following day. The researchers are seeking to build up a picture database that, along with texts, tell the stories of young adults with immigrant background, and contribute in passing on the experiences of this group to the societies in which they live.
Issues related to the analysis of the material that is being collected was also an important theme for the meeting. In the forthcoming period, the researchers will work simultaneously in the field and with analysis of interviews and observations, both on a national and a transnational level. An initial cross-comparison of interviews is being done before the next meeting in Estonia in January 2010. The first EUMARGINS conference papers are being prepared, and the teams are already starting to work on the book that is to be published in the end of the project.
Images from the meeting
Click on each picture to see the captions