Today is the first day of my field-work.
I planned to be in Berlin now to establish a network and meet people who could be interview partners for my research on segregation and exclusion in Berlin's art scene. Instead I am at home, sitting in the garden and enjoying the sun. Although I would not choose to be somewhere else right at this moment I can hardly make any new face-to-face contacts.
Friends and collegues all over the world are pausing their fieldwork as well. One of them is researching on refugees in Greece. She recommends BBC and the guardian for new information of the situation at the border. However she writes me about scenarios which are not covered, like militias hunting refugees and the racist/fascist attacks against refugees and NGO workers on Lesbos. It is not the purpose of this blog to discuss the news, but the situation on the Greek islands is a blind spot that has to be brought back to our attention because it shows how our politics work. Germany promised to take care of children but now they don't seem to have the capacities to make any decision not related to Corona.
This situation also shows how hard it is to access information or discover gaps in a field without having the possibility to experience it yourself. Empirical research is essential to balance the hard facts and evaluate existent literature. At this point I want to recommend an crowd sourced document by Deborah Lupton, where she collected anything about field work in pandemic: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1clGjGABB2h2qbduTgfqribHmog9B6P0NvMgVuiHZCl8/preview?fbclid=IwAR3xpboZO4Ys4vb1C-MuEtMvzsi-viUeWAji5H7rJv0FYagyaIJ1gM1zIa8#heading=h.ndq63rhwbtc6
For me there are some useful links about digital ethnography and auto-ethnography which I will consider for my research. Since workshops and events are being cancelled for the whole summer a plan B seems like a good idea.
Another open access infrastructure is: https://www.knowledgeunlatched.org/
You can access a lot of collections and models from leading publishing houses and other initiatives.
I am not just working for myself, with Microsoft teams, Sype or zoom I am talking to other researchers but it is just not the same. Fingers-crossed our society will transform magically into a cooperative community based on solidarity through this. Take care!