My name is Arba Bekteshi and I am an urban anthropologist conducting research mainly in my hometown of Tirana, Albania. I use psychogeographical walking and mapping to add to my ethnographic work. However, after the calamitous shift to new daily practices, such as overcleaning that came along with the pandemic, digital presence for me came to stand for enforced behavior. But most importantly, I found myself at a loss for the direction in which to take my work and fund it difficult to think about new ways to come into contact with the urban.
The Feeling Digital workshop and the interactions it presented allowed me to recognize the unarticulated feeling of uneasiness accompanying entanglements with medial surfaces (Felton-Dansky and Gallagher-Ross 2016). Mediating my experience of the lockdown and the consequent isolation via the interview exercise designed for Group 2 created a healthy distance from imbuing my digital participation with attributes and meanings from virtual interactions at a global scale. The workshop was a means for me to move away from the need to locate the digital in my everyday life or multimodal ethnographic practices. Instead, I am looking to embrace the newness and engage with unfinished forms of unmapping and uncharting (Goffe 2020).
Felton-Dansky, M., & Gallagher-Ross, J. (2016). Digital Feelings. Theater, 46(2). https://doi.org/doi 10.1215/01610775-3547683
Goffe, T. L. (2020). Unmapping the Caribbean: Toward a Digital Praxis of Archipelagic Sounding. Archipelago, (5). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.7916/archipelagos-72th-0z19