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Whose Story Counts?

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Tanja Thani

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of Whose Story Counts?

The Power of Performative Writing
"I wait for these kids to express some of the issues they have to talk about, or discuss what is missing in their lives. I also wait for them to write about their strengths, to see their own power and capacity. I think of this as the transformative moment" (Obrzut, 2001).
Rob's Story continued...

"....but something intervened. I met people who chose not to judge, to give a name to my fragmentation...When people entered my life, people who accepted the damage, saw past my painful perceived division and never denied my experiences, I learnt a new means of feeling integrated once more, of belonging" (Muncey & Robinson, 2007).
"I see these kids realizing that their experience matters and means something, a lesson that these kids need badly and rarely get. The true value of this work is that people who generally have no voice, like the disabled or homeless, are shown that they can speak, that what they say means something" (Obrzut, 2001)
Autoethnography


...a form of self-reflection and writing that explores the researcher's personal experience and connects them to wider cultural, political and social meanings and understandings.
Invisibilizaton

Normalization

Embodiment

Bodies and Spaces
"We can't separate WHAT one experiences, from HOW one understands the experience"
(Berry, 2007).
Rob's Story: "Stop the train, I said, please stop! and they did. Only instead of sitting me down quietly, calming me, telling me it was alright...they told me that I was sick. Very sick. I needed 'expert' help to get better. And they put me off the train....they left me by the track, in the hands of the doctor, who gave my sickness a name. I was a schizophrenic. Then the train disappeared. But so did the tracks, And I was left to walk the trackbed alone, destined never to reach the horizon, the utopia we are all sold as success. I had been disembarked at the derelict station called marginalization" (Muncey & Robinson, 2007).
Autoethnography
"autobiographical genre of writing and research that displays multiple layers of consciousness; connecting the personal to the cultural"
(Ellis & Bochner, 2000).
"These narratives are not just stories: they are lives, experiences, performances and embodied stories which make the cultural conflict complete" (Langellier, 1999).
"The performance of an embodied story is complicated by it's gaps and ommissions and is uncomfortable to hear....a human experience that is chaotic and messy requires a pluralism of discursive and interpretive methods" (Spry, 2001).
"Storying serves the reader: I read you, I hear you, I speak you, and thus I am here too. Perhaps story is the soul of empathy - genuine understanding, a shared humanity that reaches across, touches; and in feeling with the other, we become our own self - the human intertextuality of existence"
(McIlveen, 2008).

Autoethnography as a Method for Reflexive Research and Practice in Vocational Psychology. Australian Journal of Career Development, 17(2), 13-20.

Two men have been drinking and are coming home in the dark when they see a strange creature, with donkey ears and the nose of a dog, and a dog’s woolly tail. The look of this thing and its terrible noise frighten them, but when, later, they return to the site with Paddy Roe to show him what they have seen, they find the thing is no longer there and that it has left no tracks in the soft ground. There is no evidence of its ever having been there, save for the men’s own witnessing.” (p. 288)
“The same creaturely thing is seen again a few weeks later, this time by a party of old women, all sober. Again, Paddy Roe goes back to where the creature was sighted this second time, his spear at the ready, ‘tommyhawk’ in his belt, but again there are no tracks except those made by the women as they fell about in fright and ran away. The women have returned to the site with Paddy Roe but hold back from approaching too closely, and are willing only to point to where the creature had lain:
‘He’s layin’ down right there’ [the women] say ‘In dis way’-
‘Yeah? but I can see all the road-
two road see one turn this way nother one there and what in the middle nothing’ I tell-em-
(Whisper) ‘Oh must be gone’-
‘Oh well we go an’ have a look might be dog might be donkey’-
so we went right up there an’ have a look oh all wet ground-
can’t miss seeing the track-
‘Where youfella seen im?’-
‘Here he’s layin’ down’-
‘Where’s the track’ I tell-im-
nothing no track nothing-
ah that made me think back now that other thing this other two bloke seen- ‘Ahh this is only, mus’ be devil’ I tell-im-
‘Something live in this country you know’ I tell-im-
‘Ahh all right’ they say this never worry them no more-
“Something live in this country you know”
(p.288)
“Why can’t we read the country as Paddy Roe and others do? Why can’t we see what we are told is there to see?”(p.290)
“[A boy] is accompanied by stories of country, stories that have already been told to him many times. He is accompanied by these stories, or one might say that he is in these stories and they are in him, and it is in this double relation that he comes to know earth and heat, and the forces that pull at him, bringing his body down, others pushing his body up. Through these stories, meanings are made. This is the way that things come to matter. These meanings are registered in the young boy’s body, entered there” (p.287)
“Stories are told to and by this ancestral land” (p.287)
#FitchTheHomeless
Please watch the video and focus on:
1) Who the clothing is being donated to
2) How the clothing is donated
3) The use of language
4) His “re branding” of A&F

Why #FitchtheHomeless Backfired
WHO: Rachel Karman
OCCUPATION: Social Worker by day, self-proclaimed hilarious and endearing blogger by night
WHAT: Why #FitchtheHomeless backfired

WHY: the problem lies within the undertones of the message. On the surface we see the act of donation, and of giving to those less fortunate.

We see a man, speaking out about devaluing human beings based off of their external attributes. “The homeless are getting clothes AND Abercrombie & Fitch are being sent a message!”
However…


The homeless are being dehumanized. The homeless are the “lowest of the low” and therefore ornamenting them with A&F apparel is the quickest and easiest way to prove this point. The homeless are needy and therefore will wear whatever we give them and be thankful.

Rachel Karman
“If a point has to dehumanize men and women to be made, it’s a point not worth making”

“I urge you to think about the “Other” here. The “Other” who is a man or woman, a human being, without a home, and not just a social cause.”

“I can’t imagine any other group of people where exploitation for sake of tweets and instagram pictures would be acceptable”

The use of language in the video:
“Why would he pass out clothes to us that he said date-rapists would wear?”
“Why would we want our own brand of clothing? Especially clothing he said “douche-bags wear”
“Rebranding” of A&F:
“We may be homeless, but that doesn’t mean we want to wear “douchery” clothes to prove a point--- what purpose would that serve. To dehumanize us even more than we already have been?
How the clothing is being donated:
“It doesn’t look like he is explaining what he is doing to anyone he is giving clothes to. That’s not right”
“Why isn’t he talking to people when he gives them the clothes? I hate it when people who think they are do-gooders act like that”
Who are the clothes is being donated to:
“I am not interested in being this guys billboard or social cause, unless it’s to get people homes”

The (Home)less Body
Samira Kawash

EM(BODY)MENT
(NORM)ALIZATION
(INDIVIDUAL)IZATION
WHO'S STORY IS IT?
(Home)less not (Help)less
Tying it all together

EM(BODY)MENT
(NORM)ALIZATION
(INDIVIDUAL)IZATION
WHO'S STORY IS IT?

http://thechive.com/2013/04/24/homeless-man-tells-heartbreaking-story-no-matter-what-people-think-about-me-i-know-im-a-human-first-video/
I'm a HUMAN first
Who’s Voice is it, anyways?
Full transcript