Annotation: Pink, Sarah. 2011. Drawing with Our Feet.

Pink, Sarah. 2011. Drawing with Our Feet (and Trampling the Maps): Walking with Video as a Graphic Anthropology. In, Redrawing Anthropology: Materials, Movements, Lines. Tim Ingold (ed). Pp. 143-156. England: Ashgate.

Borrowing from Tim Ingold’s (2010) observations about “wayfaring” as itself a process of thinking and knowing, David MacDougall’s idea of the corporeal image in film (2006), and Doreen Massey’s (2005) idea of geographies and people as constantly changing by virtue of their interaction, Pink presents a video method as a form of graphic anthropology. Rather than merely “mapping onto an environment,” walking with video is one way of going forward through that offers a way for the filmmaker to create a permanent trace of the routes taken (146). Walking through is a performing activity in which the filmmaker asks the participants to show and talk about the things that mean something to them. As opposed to merely walking, the trace of the video becomes preserved as a video record. She suggests that walking with video may be thought of as a practice of making a line in which the filmmaker and the participant leave a row of footprints on the ground as they simultaneously leave an inscription of their route in the “video-as-text.” This documentation is not only descriptive, it also represents the experience of the walkers, while the filmmaker also generates a sense of intimacy with both the participants and the audience. Pink contrasts this method with the documentary approach that is removed from the subject, wherein the filmmaker merely waits for events to unfold before him/her. Following MacDougall’s about the corporeal image in film, walking with video may also be used in engaging the audience affectively, giving it a sense of how it might feel to be the subject in the video, or the filmmaker behind the camera. It is also a method that one can use to engage the body actively – for instance, when an “unwanted experience” is being described. Thus walking with video is itself a process of thinking and knowing, and engaging the filmmaker, the subject, and the viewer affectively.

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