The focus on children’s voices and experiences has been a substantial part of childhood studies. Research with children is closely linked to the idea of children as agents rather than seeing them as passive objects. In this article the authors examine how video ethnography, and the video camera in particular, in an Early Childhood Education and Care (ecec) facility is an actor that actively co-produces agency. The authors explore how agency is distributed in assemblages consisting of children, the researcher and the video camera. The authors argue that approaching agency as manifold and as distributed is helpful in a critical discussion of children and agency and point to the need to study agency as entangled with human and non-human actors in relational activities. Far from being a tool to represent the real world as it is, or merely a tool for “collecting” data, the video camera and the children are mutually constructed.
Mobilizing a/r/tographic inquiry with young children, this article focuses on a series of research-creation events to examine the making and movement of speculative “withness” inherent in creative production. Thinking with theories of posthumanism and visual studies, it diffractively reads across young children’s making to refashion Szarkowski’s elements of photography (the thing, the detail, the frame, time, and vantage point) as a/r/tographic renderings of the relational-aesthetic. Seeking to expand the sentient possibilities of ‘seeing’ and ‘knowing’ with young children, a series of provocations are presented to question the role of the image in young children’s world making.
Inspired by Erin Manning’s use of Marey’s photography to explore time and movement, this article works with slow-motion video drawn from research with two-year olds. It takes a genealogical approach, considering how the medium of film has been implicated in colonising constructions of childhood. It then deploys Bergson’s notion of ‘grace taking form’, making the case that video’s unique capacity to attend to the virtual potential of movement can be used as a de-colonising methodology. Slowing-down video enlivens data in ways that resist interpreting behaviour through the logic of consciousness, giving credence to what Olsson calls a different ‘bodily logic of potentiality’. The article ends with a slowed video-clip voiced by the author as an emerging response to the entanglement between film and child development theory in order to re-animate the sensori-motor as a relational mode of engagement with the world.
The aim of this article is to analyze how a researcher’s use of digital cameras, with children in preschool, affects the children’s becoming as filmmaking subjects. The material consists of 12 months’ digital videography, during which the researcher took part in children’s own filmmaking. The authors used conceptual tools from Deleuze’s (1986) film theory to analyze an encounter between two children and a researcher as filmmakers. The analysis demonstrates how turning towards and turning away in relation to human (children and the researcher) and non-human (digital cameras, rhythm, music, light) actors actualizes admiration and desire in varying ways. The authors pay special attention to the children’s acting with abstract, constantly moving compositions. The article highlights how the children and the researcher produce different, yet related becomings using digital cameras. Acknowledging such connections between children’s mingling with human and non-human actors provides ways to understand how cameras actualize the potential to decolonize childhood by decomposing and recomposing educational settings.
This article focuses on the process of creating still and video images with children through a practice referred to as ‘mashing’. The use of wearable cameras (by both researcher and children) is further explored, putting into question how documentation and visual analysis are conducted in school settings. Three concepts (i.e., gesture, encounter, endurance) are employed in relation to issues of visual representation in childhood research in order to support an understanding of documentation as pedagogically necessary in educational contexts.