Interviewees are approached in different ways, often by email or on social media. They are told about Still Life (shown examples of previous interviews where there have been some), that they can be anonymous and that they will be able to alter and approve the text before publication.
Finding interviewees (or other forms of content) is somewhat haphazard, a mixture of looking for people with experiences that I think will be relevant and interesting or coming across things that I think fir the bill. Inclusion is generally based on who gets back to me and ensuring that there is a good mixture of themes and fields in an issue.
Where possible interviews are conducted face to face, recorded and then written up. I try to keep the particularities, hesitations and deviations of speech as I think this conveys some of the liveness of the encounter and makes for a richer read.
Emphasised terms are indicated with inverted commas. Quoted speech (this is often imagined or hypothetical speech uses quotation marks.
Elipsises (a series of three dots ... ) indicate a sentence trailing off, or a pause.
On the one hand you may have different individual perspectives but on the other, do institutions have a...what’s their responsibility in that?
Longer pauses or gestures that are relevant to what is being communicated are included in square brackets
[she points to her chin]
Square brackets are also used to include words that help make the sentence clearer, for example a surname.
More minor edits for example using the wrong word (saying ‘but’ meaning ‘bat’) or deviations that take away from the flow are not indicated in the text.
Editing and sign off
The interviews are then sent to the interviewee to check and make any changes or clarifications they want. Often these are minor things like typos but sometimes they may wish to edit the transcript a little more for example to ensure their current point of views is captured fairly.
As of yet no substantial sections have been removed from interviews, only the introductory and concluding conversation explaining how the interview will work or general chit-chat. I think it’s important to feel the full length of the conversation even if it repeats or meanders.
I also add footnotes to explain terms or names I think people might not know (assuming a diverse readership who may not be familiar with all the different fields that Still Life covers) and also to link to any references that readers may wish to explore further.
In Issue 1 the interviewer’s questions where written in bold text and the interviewees in regular text. This was a choice to help the reader navigate the back and forth of the conversation. This may have given a misleading sense of importance to my contributions particularly when things move away from a straightforward question-and-answer and towards something more conversational.
In Issue 2 this was changed so that all text is regular and the speaker’s name or initials are written next to each passage in bold.
I ask interviewees for an image of images to accompany their interview but I want these to support the verbal accounts rather than overshadow them. So generally they are adjusted to monochrome. I’m generally more interested in the accounts of these embodied practices that reveal the physical, felt and emotional dimensions than how they look.