Are you for real : writing verbatim performance with ethnographer’s tools
Rinne, N. (2022). Are you for real : writing verbatim performance with ethnographer’s tools. Scriptum : Creative Writing Research Journal.9(2). DOI: 10.17011/scriptum/2022/2/5
Published inScriptum : Creative Writing Research Journal
© Author, 2022
Verbatim technique connects concepts such as ‘actual’, ‘real’, ‘original’ and ‘authentic’ to theatre, performance art and creativity. In this article, I consider the roles of creativity, art, veracity and reality when composing a performance text that is based on the ‘actual words’ of ‘real people’. What is the truth claim in verbatim performance, and how does it operate together with artistic creativity? My approach is that of an artistic researcher conducting research with children. When I collect materials for my verbatim performances, I use many of the same techniques and methods that childhood studies ethnographers use in their fieldwork. The performative turn in social sciences, with post qualitative inquiries and non-representational methodologies, and the educational turn in art, bring these fields even closer together. Both fields face the questions of veracity and creativity without any simple oppositional structure. I claim that, instead of concentrating on the friction between creativity and truth, it is important to acknowledge that creativity can be needed in order to lie less. I argue that ethnographic objects can lie if they are presented to us dead. Although performance art, or live art, claims to be the epitome of liveness and immediacy, it actually expresses the impossibility of guaranteed unmediated presence. The creative skills of an artist and ethnographer are needed, to keep the transcript and presented materials alive and communicating, to ensure that research remains reciprocal. ...
PublisherDepartment of Music, Art and Culture Studies
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