Learning to Fly: A Story Tale for My Three Year Old Son. An Unconventional Ethnographic Restitution of a Creative Investigation on Body Suspensions.

Federica Manfredi

Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon

Abstract

Reporting a researching experience is never easy, and sometimes its results are still more challenging to be expressed. This essay is an experiment: I imagined to tell a story to my son, simplifying the communication and using images rather than a lot of theoretical concepts. In the field I did the same: I invited people to create hand-made objects to express their experience, going beyond words and logo-centric communications.

The result becomes an insight into the body suspension world that I explored from 2016 to 2019 in Italy, Norway, and Portugal. Body suspensions are intense practices that often generate suspicions: they involve voluntary forms of pain and their motivations are silenced, when not misunderstood. The research explores practitioners’ meanings, looking for a balance between activism and researching, presenting an itinerant handcraft collection as means to disclose their vision of the world to everyone interested to hear their stories.

Keywords

Body Suspension; Body; Experimental Ethnography; Symbols; Art-based Ethnography; Pain

Author contact: federicamanfredi [at] hotmail.fr

Citation: Manfredi, F., 2019. “Learning to Fly: A Story Tale for My Three Year Old Son. An Unconventional Ethnographic Restitution of a Creative Investigation on Body Suspensions.”, Irish Journal of Anthropology, 22(1), 194-204.