Analyzing participatory cultural practices in a medium-scale Swiss town: How multiple belongings are constructed and consolidated through an interactive filmmaking process
This paper deals with a participatory filmmaking project involving young residents of a neighborhood in a Swiss town, local sociocultural and political institutions, representatives of the local police, and an independent filmmaker. Seeking to query what participation means in such a setting, we propose an analytical framework that considers three scales of participation: The participatory node, the participative collaboration, and participation as an argument in the top-down setting of a municipal policy. As researchers, we actively participated in the analysis of the entire raw unedited film material that documents the whole production process. Focusing on the interactions between the filmmaker and the youths, the paper explores how multiple belongings are mobilized in order to negotiate the frontier between participation and authority, namely through joking relationships. We differentiate this form of authority from the symbolic violence exerted by institutional representatives in order to highlight the conditions by which active citizenship is made possible.
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