Slow research, ethics and retrospective hyper-self-reflexivity in indigenous geographical research (14748)
There has been something of a reflexive turn within geography over the last twenty years. Yet challenges persist in how researchers can be appropriately reflexive in their work so as not to perpetuate hierarchical or neo-colonial relationships and representations. This paper discusses the methodological approach I developed to ethically reflect upon my research performances and interactions within a long-term participatory video research partnership with some members of Te Iwi o Ngaati Hauiti in the central North Island of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Working with video I developed and practised what I have called ‘retrospective hyper-self-reflexivity’; through the replay and interpretation of audio-visual information, particularly where information pertained to my historical self as a would-be critically-reflective researcher. Such work was slow and often painful. It had to be re-membered, re-lived, re-cast. It represented an ethical imperative for me to slow down and periodically take stock of my research practice in order to digest its wider implications.
While the historical and revisionist nature of my work could be criticised for being ‘too late’ and irrelevant for the practice of ethical or decolonising research relationships, I would argue that the detailed readings of key incidents through memory work and the use of audiovisual texts provided a tangible means of deepening and repoliticising the work with Ngaati Hauiti. For me the approach provided an opportunity to learn deeply from the past to inform new possibilities for future ethical relationships with my research collaborators.