About the Project
Humans, plants, and animals dwell, and they travel; sometimes they are moved. Where they intermingle are spaces that form rich junctures of mobility, sensuality and impressions that together evoke senses of place, which are intimately connected to ideas of being and belonging. I have been awarded a NEH-Mellon Fellowship for Digital Publication to craft a multimodal ethnography of the Silver River, specifically the three chapter-layers: 1) Being, 2) Belonging and 3) Becoming. To better interpret the ontological subject of being the Silver River, and the political potential of the pluriverse that entails, this project represents poetically and therein politically the borderlands of Silver River as a protagonist with its explicit fragmented aspects of identity: temporal, cross-cultural and multispecies. I use evocative ethnography, a decolonial, feminist visual anthropology approach that I have pioneered, to craft this interactive, web-based, mixed-media monograph that offers theoretically rich analyses coupled with poetic experiments and interpretive experiences to query: Who belongs in the borderlands of Florida’s Silver River? In an era of global conservation and development and the contemporary U.S. political climate, unpacking notions of belonging is paramount: lives are at stake.
Senses of HumaNature on Florida’s Silver River: Evocative Ethnography to Craft Place
The spaces where humans, plants, and animals intermingle are rich junctures of mobility, sensuality, and impressions that together evoke a sense of place. Visual anthropology can help interpret these humaNature events—where dichotomies and divisions are blurred, and lived experiences of multispecies mingling are brought to the fore through emerging practices that apply experiential and experimental devices. Attending to emotional textures of intimacy, soundscapes of multiple species, and embodied, sensuous ways of knowing that do not privilege solely the agency of human actors, nor rely primarily on a linear narrative and didactic logic, the academic-artistic endeavor that I discuss in this article—and demonstrate in its accompanying short video, Senses of Silver River—is aimed at bringing feminist, decolonial ways of knowing the world to the forefront (cf. Collins; Harrison; Trinh). Toward this effort, I propose a methodological intervention that I call evocative ethnography, which favors a sensorial realm to explore, interpret, and share a sense of place.