Mette Lind Kusk has a Ph.D. in anthropology from Aarhus University, and is currently Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, VIA University College, Aarhus.
“During fieldwork for my Ph.D. project on local land conflicts and intimate connections between people and land, carried out in Northern Uganda between 2014 and 2016, I made a collection of drawn fieldnotes in addition to my written notes. To draw notes provided a playful way for me to process and engage with mundane but telling experiences during fieldwork, and to later reflect upon the intimate everyday interactions that make up the basis of fieldwork and the knowledge gained from it.
As I argue elsewhere, to draw is a mode of expression that enables me to include myself in descriptions of fieldwork situations in a way that feels more unfiltered than when I try to translate my experiences of these situations into pure writing (Kusk 2020). Most of my fieldwork drawings revolve around trivial moments of waiting or everyday interactions with the families I stayed with and the people I came to know. Situations so mundane that they would easily slip my attention, had I not captured them in lines and colours.
By drawing such moments, their presence becomes visible and – in my experience – urges me to revisit them after ending fieldwork. It makes the drawn notes methodologically significant as they spur me to remember what my fieldwork knowledge is essentially made up from: interpersonal experiences and everyday interactions (i.e. Taussig 2011).”