The following story is written through the eyes of Adil Channo.
“Time to be a lot more productive today than I was during the weekends”, is the first thing I thought of when I woke up. The second one was: “I hope I don’t get wet because of the bad weather” and the last one was me not being sure what to expect from today’s course on research methods. I knew there would be some guest lecturers today, but I was very curious to see who they were and what exactly they would talk about.
I came in a bit lat, but as soon as I entered the classroom I thought: “Hey, it’s the library guy from the introduction day”. I forgot his name, but I am of course referring to Jos Damen. So Jos started talking about the importance of visuals in research and he mainly focused on images. He told us a lot of interesting things about Copyright issues as well as proper reference methods when using images for example. He also cursed a few times, which I thought was funny. The core message in my opinion though, was that we as researchers can really bring our products to life through the usage of visuals. After all, an image is supposed to contain more than a 1.000 words, right?
After Jos, we had a short break. I came across Erik who spilled his coffee somewhere and I felt bad for him. I also got a compliment about my happy socks from Linde, which boosted my confidence, so thanks Linde! After the break, we had a short introduction by Mirjam who introduced the theme: ‘Languages of research’. Which are not necessarily different languages (like French, Arabic etc.), but more a way to showcase how we can use different research methods to convey a message to the outside world.
This is exactly what Edurne de Wilde (MA History student) did. Edurne did research on connectivity in Africa and took one of the slums of Douala (Cameroon) as a geographical location for this. More specifically, she did research on the impact of art on the connectivity of people in Cameroon. This through an artwork called 'Théâtre Source', which is an old well that has been rebuilt to a newer well as well as a theatre….well? It was very interesting to see, that even though Edurne did not visit Douala herself, she still could produce a very solid research product. Her product was also very creative as it consisted of a short story and an accompanying essay. Creative practice research at it’s very best perhaps.
After the 7th time of being filmed by Sjoerd, I started getting used to it. It was also time for him to take the stage. Then again, I guess he took the stage with Mirjam together, but I feel I left him out of this story too much. Sorry about that....
So, we were presented a film made by Sjoerd and Walter Nkwi (PhD, University of Buea) who did historical research on Njnikom (Cameroon). The assignment given to us, was to focus on the usage of ‘mixed methods’ and ‘multiple languages’ during the film. The main things that we agreed on, were that the primary research sources consisted of: the usage of interviews, the showcasing of architecture and the showcasing of old photographs. We were also introduced to ‘bushfalling’, which is a common term in Cameroon used to describe indigenous people who go abroad.
Class ended with us being given our first real homework assignment. The assignment will focus on us doing visual and textual research in a somewhat comparative way of an object of choice. I am very curious to see what everyone will come up with for this assignment. For now, I really have to end this story because there is a lot of reading I have to do. Also, I have to think about my internship plans because I want to be bushfalling in January as well.
Thanks for reading this guys and see you all soon!