I-docs, Crisis and Multi-perspectival Thinking

Virtual Symposium: Call for Papers
A collaboration between Dr Ella Harris, Birkbeck, University of London and Dr Judith Aston, i-Docs, UWE Bristol. Taking place online on May 9th, 2022.

As the field of i-docs (interactive and immersive documentary) has matured, it has become clear that there are i-docs practices which have a particular purchase on illuminating crisis through multi-perspectivity.

Within this context, i-docs have been used to explore economic crises (i.e. Rapporteur de crises and How to Start a Financial Crisis), environmental and energy crises (including Waterlife, Journey to the End of Coal, Athens Report and Collapsus), political conflict and uprising (as in Gaza Sderot and 18 Days in Egypt) and are already being deployed to document the COVID-19 pandemic (including Corona Haikus, Corona Diaries, Exposed and The Lockdown Game.)

Our conjecture is that the nonlinear and polyvocal capacities within i-docs make them apt for interrogating and communicating crises as complex, precarious situations, where diverse perspectives cannot be authentically conflated into one narrative, and ways of moving forward are multiple.

We suggest that these capacities of i-docs to grasp crisis through multi-perspectival thinking both reflect and enhance a shift in perception and cognition in the contemporary moment: a growing recognition of complexity and plurality as both inherent and important.

This symposium and workshop seek to develop understanding of what i-docs, and other multi-perspectival media and methods, bring to conceptual thinking about crisis.

We invite papers/presentations that explore:

• How the formal properties of multi-perspectivity within i-docs make them apt for exploring crisis conditions
• Particular i-docs and how they use multi-perspectivity to approach crisis conditions
• Particular crises and their illumination via i-docs or other multi-perspectival methods
• How the ways of seeing that i-docs enable in relation to multi-perspectivity map onto contemporary scholarly thought and/or cultural logics
• I-docs as a framework through which to decolonise knowledge and engage with the ontological turn
• Other multi-perspectival methods and mediums that approach the world through nonlinearity and polyvocality, and their relationship to i-docs

Please send 300 word (max) abstracts and 100 word bios to: idocsandcrisis@gmail.com
The deadline is December 17th 2021

Please clearly explain your proposed paper/presentation and how your work deals with crisis and multi-perspectival thinking. We are looking for a good mix between theory and practice, across academia, industry and community. Work in progress will be considered as well as finished projects.

Nb. This collaboration builds on Ella Harris’ postdoctoral research on i-docs as applied to the cultural geographies of precarity and crisis, and on Judith Aston’s ongoing work around polyphony and multi-perspectival thinking as a convenor of the i-Docs research group.

Successful submissions will be considered for an edited collection, as an outcome of the symposium.

Please share this call widely. You can download a PDF version here.

We look forward to hearing from you.