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2018 | 9 "Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia" |

Article title

The Memory Places and Color: The Methods and Practices of Color Use in Ethnographic Research



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4th International Interdisciplinary Memory Conference “Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia” (17-18 Semptember, 2015 in Gdansk)

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Nowadays art festivals engage more to organize their events in unusual places. Either for the sake of city branding or a pure cultural memory action, a performance might be set in a forgotten memory place. The place which is distinguished sharply by a comfortable concert hall becomes one of the actors of the event and the participant questions a past that s/he hasn’t been strongly connected. Thus, the individual is not only aroused by the performance itself and the information in the booklets but also physical environment has an affect. This article aims to tackle the contribution of color as an instrument of data collection in qualitative research. By using color tablets inspired by the colorist Kobayashi the colors are tested firstly as a visual to learn how they make sense in Izmir during International Izmir Festival. Secondly, they are questioned how the participants embed colors’ senses to the memory places where they attended to the concerts. The research process indicates that the experience of a concert might not be visually powerful enough to associate memory places with the colors. However, the technique of color tablets becomes prompting object which support the dialogue construction between the fieldworker and informant. Thus, as an instrument for evocation and conversation color tablets become interactive objects for remembering of the festival experience and it mediates the social roles of the informants and the fieldworker.


  • Ghent University (Belgium), Department of Art, Music and Theater Sciences


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