‘You understand?’ Visual Images of Craftwork from East Jerusalem and Palestine

‘You understand?’ is a visual exercise that aims to provoke visual ethnographers' thinking and practice. It entails the conversation of two Palestinian women, a Palestinian man and the researcher.
An exercise for geo-ethnographers

The images in this photo essay were shot with a smartphone and aimed to capture the ‘moment’ on the move during a visit in the Old City of Jerusalem, in May 2023. Looking back to this research experience from a time-space distance, I see it as a synthesis of encounters and discussions that constitute a ‘moment’. I choose ‘moment’ rather than ‘trajectory’ even though my ‘moment’ embraces the elements of a trajectory, the movement, the visual and sensorial aspects, and the different emplacements of the researcher on the move (Gomez-Cruz, 2016). This is, however, an exercise for training the geo-ethnographic gaze and creating a basis for geo-ethnographic imagination and thinking. Geo-ethnographic methods allow positioning encounters in time and place on demand and, thus, offer one way to deal with possible memory gaps and other sources of bias.

Geo-ethnography is nothing but new. Surprisingly, it has been a tool for historical research since the Classical times when Herodotus applied geo-ethnographic methods to get to know the ‘facts on the ground’ and separate myths from reality (Masalha, 2021). The smartphone has in-built technology that makes possible the convergence of image creation and locative metadata and, thus, becomes geo-ethnography’s good friend (Vivitsou & Janhonen-Abruquah, 2024, pp. 231-239). 

... Evidently, geo-ethnography that is performed with technologies of image creation and locative metadata opens up a whole new space for epistemological discussions.

*The study was funded by OLIVE and the Faculty of Educational Sciences.

Read more about the photo-essay and visual geo-ethnographic methods on the OLIVE project blog.