Cruising the Village.
I use combinations of photography, drawing and writing to explore the forms of movement and modes of perception of men seeking sex with other men along a stretch of canal, approaching the city centre of Manchester in the UK. I began this work as part of the Granada Centre’s MA in Visual Anthropology in 2007 and continued to develop it as part of a PhD project in Social Anthropology with Visual Media which was completed in 2013. It deals with two types of activity that were colloquially known as ʻcruisingʼ, a term which refers to the seeking of anonymous public sex by men wishing to meet other men and ʻbusinessʼ which describes a variety of exchanges of intimacy, for money, goods and/or services. My study incorporated a variety of places along the banks of the Rochdale Canal, including Manchesterʼs ʻGay Villageʼ. The ‘ethno-graphics’ I created during my research incorporate informants’ testimony, their recounted stories and observations from fieldwork. As such, these are forms of ethnographic representation and a means of collaborative intervention that can be the basis for considerations of how informants may reflect upon their experiences to facilitate positive change.
The piece above, by the title Objects that Look, is an extract from my MA final exhibition and below are two ethno-graphic stories from my PhD dissertation.
Another Side of the Village
- Michael Atkins