MobileDeaf research project, the fieldwork begins

I’m giving this blog a kiss of life, it’s had a nice long rest. I have also just posted a BSL youtube video aimed at deaf migrants in London and wanted to expand to a wider audience.

The inspiration for the revival is the new MobileDeaf research project that commenced last May 2017 and of which I am part. I won’t repeat information that’s already fully detailed and explained on that website in English and International sign.

In summary: the team has spent time preparing fieldwork, attending courses, conferences and holding regular meetings to discuss ethnographical documentary films, texts on translanguaging and intersectionality, and grappling with research ethics. Amongst other things.

My colleagues have been in their field for several weeks and while I have been in London since May, I have been travelling regularly to Heriot-Watt University, in Edinburgh to work with the team. My fieldwork started at the end of February 2017.

I am still finding my way by undertaking visits to various clubs and events in the capital city. I’ve met individuals who have shared ideas of where to meet deaf migrants for the research project.

During the next six months I will be undertaking fieldwork, and presently I’m engaged in a ‘mapping’ exercise. This involves getting an idea of where deaf migrants go for social events in the London deaf region. In the process of this journey so far, I have some early indicators of a thriving multicultural deaf peoples’ who meet and socialise in a multitude of spaces, but whose very way of life is constantly being interrupted and threatened by funding cuts.

That’s a very early summary, and the formal journey will be documented on the MobileDeaf website. In the next few days, I will be writing for the MobileDeaf blog and documenting my journey so far.

In my TigerDeafie blog, I’ll be writing informal entries, shorter pieces to encourage feedback. For example:

  • Are there places I am missing in my journey?
  • Is my perspective missing anything?
  • Does anybody have any thoughts or views on this research project?

As ever, I welcome feedback either in English, BSL or International Sign.


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