Category Archives: Martin Buber

Belonging in Anghiari – Daniele Cavallotti

For the past couple of years, I have been conducting interviews with people who live in Anghiari. Some are conducted in Italian, some in English, and they are all published in both languages on this blog. While in Anghiari in spring this year, I continued this project.

Appartenenza ad Anghiari – Daniele Cavallotti

 Daniele è nato a Pavia, una città a 30 km a sud di Milano. Vive ad Anghiari dal 2011 quando si è trasferito per stare vicino a Elisa Sassolini con cui ora è sposato. Ho anche intervistato Elisa e i genitori, le loro interviste saranno pubblicate fra poco. Daniele ha una laurea in legge e ora ad Anghiari si occupa di varie proprietà, quasi tutte di stranieri, e degli ospiti che le affittano. Anch’io sono stata una di loro e ho visto con che impegno Daniele svolge il suo lavoro. L’intervista si è svolta in inglese, è stata poi trascritta e tradotta da Mirella Alessio e questa ne è la versione editata in italiano.Daniele

 Sono nato nel 1969 quindi quest’anno compio 50 anni e questa è una cosa che mi fa riflettere. I miei genitori…penso a loro spesso. Mio padre era una persona di origini modeste, ha cominciato a lavorare in banca a 17 anni e, 40 anni dopo, era vice-direttore della filiale. Ha fatto una notevole carriera perché era una persona con un certo talento e …che amava la gente, mandavano lui quando aprivano una nuova sede. Mia madre era una casalinga, ma aveva lavorato con successo come segretaria in una ditta molto innovativa che produceva autoclavi. Quando sono nati i bambini aveva deciso di stare a casa e fare la mamma. Eravamo in tre, vicini d’età, io sono il più grande, poi mio fratello, un anno più giovane e mia sorella che ha quattro anni meno di me.

Continue reading Belonging in Anghiari – Daniele Cavallotti

Working with a Transcript

Colleagues of mine recently asked me to ‘teach’ them how to write first-person narratives using interview transcripts. What method did I use? What were the steps I followed? How long should they be? Did I edit out stutters and conversational fillers? Did I correct grammar?

They knew I had written first-person narratives before and knew that I advocated it as a honest and accessible form of sociological writing.  That is true, so I was happy to comply. However, what happened next surprised me. I found it incredibly difficult to describe how I edited a transcript or why I made the editorial decisions I did. Instead of a series of techniques to be learnt,  I found myself coming back to the form of relation I was in when undertaking the editing. What follows is one of  many attempts to describe how and why I work with interview transcripts. Continue reading Working with a Transcript

This is not a grasshopper

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the force

of what lives us

outliving the mountain.

John Berger

 

Last week I was delighted to come across this animal.

Part of my pleasure was that I thought I could identify it. Even though it was now in the front herb garden, and no longer among the camellias at the back, I presumed it was the same fine grasshopper with which I began this series of blog posts.

I don’t think this recognition was at the heart of my response though. The best clue to this  are the words I said to myself at the time. If my response had been recognition of the same individual, I would have thought ‘Oh, it’s that same grasshopper‘.  But this wasn’t my response. The delighted thought that came to me was ‘Oh, it’s you‘. Why did I say You? What did I see that made this a You and not just ‘that same grasshopper’?

This isn’t a minor grammatical quibble. There is a world — an ecology — of difference between the two utterances. Continue reading This is not a grasshopper

What do you see?

20th May 2016
20th May 2016

For the past few months, since beginning this photographic project, I have been uploading photos every day to an Instagram account. There are now many hundreds there. Every photo is different but every one is also the same.

Take this image. What do you see? A fist? An embryo? A fern? A mother and child? A helix? A shell? A heart in a rib cage? A mathematical formula? Continue reading What do you see?