Picturing difference: Juxtaposition, collage and layering of a multi-ethnic street
AbstractMy research is an ethnographic exploration of how cultural and ethnic diversity manifests through regular, face-to-face social contact on the Walworth Road in South London. My focus is the small independent shops along the mile length of this multi-ethnic street and the social and spatial interactions between proprietors and customers within them. While absorbed in an ethnography of everyday life, I searched for ways of understanding the layers of place, time and experience that make this street. As an architect, I had a fascination for how urban space is designed and appropriated, and a predilection for a visual reading of the city. As an inexperienced ethnographer, I had to learn about a much slower process of looking; making time to sit, listen and talk. My research methodology has been influenced by a combination of architectural and ethnographic approaches to how individuals appropriate and re-constitute urban space in the habitual rhythm of their day-to-day lives. In this paper I expand on my ethnographic process of exploring difference through pictures made during fieldwork. I use juxtaposition, collage and layering as both illustrative forms and analytic methods for observing and representing difference.
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