Listen with your eyes

Report from Charlie Rumsby, 2019 Research Impact Award Recipient

Image: Courtesy Charlie Rumsby. Illustrator: Ben Thomas

The overall objective of the project was to create scholarly-informed multi-media stories combining comic illustration, film, and photography to adapt ethnography into art and education materials.

I converted sections of my PhD research that explored modes of belonging among de facto stateless Vietnamese children in Cambodia, into a visual story using materials from the research period and illustrating data from interviews, and participant observation to communicate academic observations in alternative ways to diverse audiences. 

I collaborated with non-academic artists including illustrator Ben Thomas, film maker Pip Cree, and composer Pete Myson. The results of the award were disseminated to academic and non-academic audiences achieving impact. For example, the illustrating anthropology online exhibition, the being human exhibition public exhibition at the Liverpool Open Eye Gallery  the ‘Being Human’ podcast and my personal website

I also wrote about the conversation of academic research into an ‘ethno’-graphic, available as an Open Access Article in Entanglements Journal. My next task is to create a short film based on my research and to continue working with Ben Thomas to author a graphic novel. Coming soon! 

Dr Charlie Rumsby is a research Fellow at the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University with research interests in youth, children, belonging and citizenship. Geographically she focuses on mainland Southeast Asia, where she has conducted research with the Vietnamese diaspora in Cambodia since 2014. Charlie trained in anthropology at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and Goldsmiths University and went on to conduct an interdisciplinary ethnography at Coventry University for her PhD thesis.