Mikko Äijälä Title : Mobile Video Ethnography for Evoking Animal Agency in Tourism
|Mobile Video Ethnography for Evoking Animal Agency in Tourism|
Methodologies to account for agency of animals in tourism are still in their infancy. This study extends developments that have sought to enrich methodologies for accounting multispecies encounters in tourism to argue that methods relying solely on talk and text-based accounts struggle to appreciate the moving encounters of human and non-human animals. Hence, the paper embraces the opportunities afforded by moving image methodologies by exploring mobile video ethnography (MVE) as a way to evoke the embodied spaces of encounters through which humans and non-human animals co-constitute tourism practices. In relation to more conventional visual methods, MVE using a minicam (i.e., a compact video camera easily worn on the body) in go along research enables the novel capturing of unusual, often messy, audio-visual angles and proximities in the action when animal and human bodies go about their lives. The protocol and practicalities of using the minicam are discussed in the context of touristic dog sledding in a Nordic destination. Whilst recognising the need for caution, the study demonstrates how mobile multispecies video ethnography contributes to accounting and understanding how tourism practices emerge through interactions between moving and living agents.