Karis Petty: A world within reach (Sharpham)

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Karis Petty leads A world within reach: a sensorial anthropology of unseen landscapes and the experience of impaired vision (walk)

This workshop comprises an indoor introduction followed by a series of walking experiments/experiences outside, and ending in a discussion.

What is the landscape when it is not seen? How does the upward curve of the hill feel? Can you hear the flight of the crow? Does the damp musk of the woodland envelop you? Drawing on my work as a sensorial anthropologist and my ethnographic fieldwork investigating the perception of the natural environment for people who have impaired vision, we embark on a series of outdoor activities that opportune reflection on these kinds of questions. The activities are tri-part: participants are invited to experience the environment through sensations other than seeing in the experience of being guided (with their eyes closed) by a sighted guide; will learn how to look at the environment in the practice of sighted guiding; conclusively reflect on these experiences through both linguistic and visual representations. These activities are embedded in presentation of my ethnographic fieldwork, in which my primary method was to walk with people who have impaired vision, as their sighted guide, over two years (2012-2014). During this time I became their apprentice in particular activities of perception, including ways of listening, feeling and specific identifications the environment. The tri-part activities serve to opportune a reference point of phenomenological experience for the participants relevant to the presentation of my ethnography that follows. My presentation explores my research participants ideas of how “the world is out of reach” in the experience of impaired vision. Through ethnographic examples we explore the experiences giving rise to this assertion, but also ways in which we are always in-touch with the world.

This workshop is limited to 16 participants. Once all places have been booked it will show as ‘sold out’. BOOK NOW

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