“always in motion”: diffractive encounters-with-filmmaking in gender research

Year: 2021

Author: Adams, Prue

Type of paper: Symposium

Posthuman and feminist new materialisms in education research, or phEmaterialisms, lend themselves to the disruption of the already known and the tracing of the not yet. In decentering the human subject as a guiding premise, posthuman and new materialist theories acknowledge the inherent vitality of all matter – human, non-human, and more-than-human. Filmmaking as an emergent method of inquiry fosters discovery through making. In this research with young people, affective-material-discursive responses open a way of understanding student experience that is inaccessible via traditional subjective reporting methods. Making/thinking with Barad’s concept of diffraction, this paper turns and re-turns the gender matterings and becomings emerging from student filmmaking workshop data. In the workshops, reconfigured to run online via Zoom due to COVID-19, students made short videos from and with sensory recall of high school gender related experiences, applying affective filmmaking concepts within a free online editing platform.My diffractive experiments with the student created video ‘da(r)ta’ explore their material reverberations in dynamic relation with the workshop apparatus and the material-discursive forces of my reading, living and thinking.With Barad’s ’ethico-onto-epistemology’ of ethical ‘knowing in being’, response-able encounters-with-da(r)ta are ‘always in motion’ (Myers, 2017). Within this open framing, I consider what and how we can ‘know’ from these encounters-with-da(r)ta about affective filmmaking as a method for exploring high school experiences of gender with young people, and ask how this knowing-in-being might be mobilised to affect change.