Arizona State University
Event-Scenes are "cinematic"
exercises in keen observation and descriptive writing to convey a
richly ethnographic sense of the urban culture and social space of
South Phoenix. When an event-scene
is called during our fieldwork activities, everyone should pause in
they are doing and take a 15 minutes time-out to focus on the
Observe, reflect, and take notes that you can later revise and expand
more fully to compose your event-scene.
For All Three Types of Event-Scenes: At the agreed upon time, teams should set up wherever they
for 15-20 minutes of serious descriptive observing and writing.
to record your location in South Phoenix so that we may be able to post
on a map on a web page later.
Freeze-Frame Event-Scene Go There!
Shot/Reverse-Shot Event-Scene Go There!
- "Frame" a visual spot and zoom in for a
- Zoom out for a wide-angle �shot� (go as wide
you wish�even global; gets us to think about the larger context)
- Describe what/who you see inside the frame,
close-up and wide-angle; take notes on details�notes, not sentences�you
work on those later
- Consider your gaze (perspective, viewpoint,
of vision/beliefs/interests), bring in other observations from the
fieldwork or ideas and concepts from our readings
- Revise your rough draft notes later to
a richly ethnographic descriptive piece
Storytelling Event-Scene Go There!
- Again drawing on filmmaking for inspiration,
your description takes in two different points of view, each gaze
back at the other.
- First, your own gaze and vantagepoint gives
perspective on the scene/seen. Describe what/who you see, consider your
bring in other observations from the day�s fieldwork or readings.
- Second, step into the position of the gaze
other looking back at you. Imagine a person there, imagine what they�d
and think looking back at you looking at them. [note: they look at
not just as an individual but also as the social group you would
represent to this other�s gaze]
- As in a film, you may flip back and forth
the gazes, creating a kind of dialogue.
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- Pause to reflect on a story unfolding during
fieldwork. The story should pertain to our studies of urban
social space of South Phoenix.
- A story is always waiting to be told!
It can be told for people, the built environment (e.g. buildings),
landscape, objects, symbols/signs, activities, borders, struggles.
- Narrate that story. Take notes now,
revise later; you can combine text and images
- If you do not have all the �facts of the
invest your imagination and knowledge in your telling of the tale
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