Issues of Research & Representation

Lameesa Mallic
2 min readFeb 22, 2022

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Dr. Ansari said something in class today in reference to a question I asked which really resonated with me. I can’t remember the specific question right now, but it went something like this: How can we as people work outside of the community for a better world when we’re still dealing with issues in our personal/immediate communities? His answer is something that I already kind of knew but actually inspired me this time. He basically said to let go of anger. Anger halts healing and “healing and letting go” is intrinsic to reclaiming agency and designing for communities.

From the lecture:

What is research?

-curating vast information and sifting through to collect

-the researcher vs the research subject (researcher = ignorant; the subject = knowledge/knowing what that subject is)

-research is always framed as the research of the different. (this community is different from me; I don’t know who they are; therefore I will look into their difference)

-the notion of ‘difference’ in research

-interlocution = relating to interrogating someone; the researcher (could include all research methods)

-interviewer = specific research method

-interlocution — anything that involves interpretation

- we all are interpreting things and filtering through the lens of our knowledge

Research = Interlocution — Interpretation — Translation — Informant

Is there such a thing as an authentic narrative?

There is no such thing as an authentic account. It is all an interpretation from the knowledge and experiences of the self and then translating that knowledge to a Western audience.

The issues with “representation”

-POC as ‘authentic’ informants for their community

Dominant institutions only raise voices for the oppressed when there is a point of crisis on a subject matter (ex: BLM taking a rise in 2018 even tho these issues existed long ago)

There is a huge and important difference between the site of research and the translation of that research; where the research is taking place (intrinsic to the time of which it’s taking place) vs. the translation/interpretation of it

Methods on

  1. Claiming
  2. Testimonies
  3. Storytelling
  4. Celebrating Survival
  5. Remembering
  6. Indigenizing & Indiginist Processes
  7. Interviewing
  8. Revitalizing & Regenerating
  9. Connecting
  10. Reading
  11. Writing & Theorizing
  12. Representing
  13. Gendering
  14. Envisioning
  15. Reframing
  16. Restoring
  17. Returning
  18. Democratizing & Sovereignty
  19. Networking
  20. Naming
  21. Protecting
  22. Creating
  23. Negotiating
  24. Discoursing
  25. Sharing
  26. Loving
  27. Healing
  28. Letting Go
  29. Living in Relation
  30. Positioning
  31. Replanting
  32. Designing & Engineering
  33. Retracing Despair & Trauma
  34. Refreshing Collectives
  35. Developing Economies

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