RECUPERATING FIELDWORK: UNTOLD STORIES FROM THE GANGES DELTA
What is fieldwork? A race against time; full-immersion in the lives of dozens of people, and peculiar solitude; cognition and self-experience; planning and implementing. To me, fieldwork has always also meant a confrontation with personal and practical shortcomings—those that generally are avoided and eventually vanish in the written, said, explained, interpreted of an ethnographer. For once, this practice shall be inverted: I’ll focus the instances of speechlessness and failure of a long phase of research in Bangladesh and West Bengal, thus recuperating stories that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, tell. In search of images less seen, and voices less heard, from the region.
Elisa T. Bertuzzo is a cultural scientist based in Berlin. She has published on issues such as perception and representation of space, urbanisation in South Asia, ethnography, the correlations of formality/informality, as well as on Lefebvre's theory of production of space. In her forthcoming monograph, Archipelagos: Urbanisation told by people-on-the-move, she focuses movement and translocalisation in, from and around Bangladesh and West Bengal (India).