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Running Practices in Barcelona: Digital Findings from Ethnographic Fieldwork

On Wednesday 26 April 2017 visiting PhD Elisa Herrera-Altamirano gave  a presentation in Melbourne about ‘Running Practices in Barcelona’ and the digital findings she has found in relation to ethnographic fieldwork.

Running practices in Barcelona are deeply present in everyday life and people get involved with them for different motivations that can range from health interests to community based actions. In social sciences and art studies, running has long been explored as a critical-creative tool and metaphor to engage with the self, others and the environment around us (Syng and Latham 2015). Therefore running cannot be thought only as a ‘bodies in motion’ practice but it could be understood as a complex phenomenon that encompasses other practices related for instance to the digital and urban spheres of the quotidian.

To follow this approach, in this talk I will present part of my ongoing PhD research based on ethnographic fieldwork in Barcelona undertaken in 2016 with ‘casual’ runners. From two case studies, I will focus on the encounters with the participants, their narratives and the exploration of mobile methods of inquiry to trace digital emergences of the practice of running in relation to understandings of the body and the city.

The aim of this seminar is to pose preliminary outcomes of how the digital is constantly entangling and relating to people, practices, experiences and materialities from a posthuman reading of everyday life.

Elisa Herrera Altamirano is a PhD candidate on the Information and Knowledge Society within the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and 2017 visiting research PhD student in the Digital Ethnography Research Centre in RMIT. With a background on critical Psychology and Gender Studies, she is currently working on her thesis named “Mapping ‘body-city continuums’: the case of runners in Barcelona’. Interested in political geographies, subjectivity, sports and technology she is exploring non dualistic manners of representing human and non-human relations in everyday life through mobile research methodologies.


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