Finally, after a few editions of the Methods Festival (Metodifestivaali), organized interchangeably in Jyväskylä and Tampere (Finland), there was a slot about visual methods this time (Tampere, 19-20.08.2015). What is more, among keynote speakers was Professor Gillian Rose! This all may sound as nothing in particular, but I feel that for the Finnish academia it’s already a lot, or at least a step forward.
The keynote speech organized the main issues about visual methodologies. For me, this was especially important as after reviewing couple of visual methods and their application to journalistic photographs (for the article, on which I’m currently working), I was totally lost.
Professor Gillian raised the question why should we work with visual methods/images? One, quite obvious, answer is that there is more and more visuals. But the other is that photographs reveal what is hidden in the everyday life (for instance, photo-elicitation). What is more, visuals can convey different information than text. And conducting studies with images can help to approach non-academic audiences.
I’m personally wondering towards which direction visual methodologies lead. Is it possible to still invent/describe new methods? Or should we systematize and conform existing approaches?