Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Akua- The Native Avatar

In setting out to conduct my field study project on the authenticity of experience, I decided to look at the different ways my experience showed limitations and biases based on the medium I used to record, as well as the lens, or avatar, I used to see my actual experience.  As I have mentioned before, trying to be Akua, my native avatar, turned out a lot differently than I anticipated.  There are two main reasons why I think this was the case. 

  1. I am not a native.  I cannot see like a native, let alone try to think and act like one.  Maybe if I would have spent a few years or decades among the community I could have pulled this off, but in just a short three months this was not going to happen  It was not like I could just go out and experience a day like a native would.
  2. Language was a problem.  Again, if I would have had more time or language skills I might have been able to figure out how to write a native avatar, but the only luck I had was writing an aesthetic overlay of local phrasing.
I think that the closest to knowing how a native would think would be when I was trying to be Shelley.  Eating with my hands, being in a moment with the family, etc.  I found that these avatars seemed to overlap, except that Shelley was more feasible.  If I were to do this project again I think that I would merge these two avatars.

Photo credit to Heart of Afrika Designs on flickr

(Data can be found in field notes FN:16:1, FN:16:5-7, FN:16:18, FN:18:24, FN:22:24, FN:42:24, FN:58:8)

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