Sensory Impact: Memory, Affect and Sensory Ethnography at Official Memory Sites
This chapter locates the focus of inquiry in the senses, feelings, imaginations, and memories of visitors to memory sites. It discusses how research participants define such places in their own terms, with meanings contextualised by their thoughts and feelings. In doing so, it focuses on what photographs and video make possible in terms of understanding someone else’s experience of a memory site. It argues that the power of such an approach lies in its capacity to bring new knowledge into being that did not exist before, through the visual material created as a result of the encounter between researcher and research participant, and that this material helps carry the experience of the memory site forward into the future as people revisit and consider it.
This research underpinning this chapter was supported by a visiting fellowship funded by the Foundation Aix-Marseille University and was conducted in collaboration with Matthew Graves. I also wish to thank all the research participants and the staff at the Camp des Milles, particularly Bernard Mossé, and colleagues Gilles Teulié and Sarah Pink.
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