Interweaving Contemporary Art and “Traditional” Crafts in Ethnographic Research
Keywords:community engagement, participatory ethnographic method, art-based methods, artistic research, cultural heritage engagement
This article presents a fieldwork collaboration between contemporary art, “traditional” craft, and ethnographic research in which community engagement plays a key role. Two decades after the abandonment of weaving in a depopulated mountainous village of Crete, Greece, a group of researchers invite an artist to turn the village’s old school into a weaving studio. Aiming at the active participation of the local community in weaving heritage interpretation, and the interdisciplinary collaboration of art and anthropology, the weaving studio experience provides a fertile ground for discussing the relationships between disciplines, the difficulties of crossing the boundaries of these disciplines and the challenges of community participation in managing knowledge production. Here we discuss our experience working with an artist in a project between art and research, including various observations, different approaches, and challenges.
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