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Credit: Agnese Bankovska
A mixed-media illustration of the summer meadow in an urban garden in Helsinki.

It is bright, even though it is a July evening in Helsinki. The warming brightness envelops me. My breathing slows, and my limbs become relaxed. My field of vision has been extended to the multisensorial whole-body experience. I have become a part of the small wild meadow that shimmers almost transcendentally in front of me. The warmth of summer life is buzzing around and through me in a gentle rhythm. The self-orchestrated choreography of bumblebees working relentlessly connects me to the symphony of the garden’s life processes. I stand there and attune my inner silence to experience the full sensorial immersion.

Is slowing down and immersion through slow-being practices a good method to notice the intricacies and myriads of multispecies relations? Does my perception become more attuned? Do I become a part of multispecies relations at such a moment? Can I capture this experience and transfer it to the mediums that offer visual imprints, which in turn can become part of the slow recall and thinking processes? I begin with a snapshot with my phone camera. Photography has always been a trustworthy companion of my research, working as visual fieldnotes. Drawing, on the other hand, requires time to make and attune to the slowness of the fieldwork. It makes the seemingly slow and lengthy anthropological interventions even slower. Drawing while being embodied becomes a specific way of experiencing the field—both while drawing in the field through direct immersion or at the desk while recalling and thinking through the process of color mixing and mark making. To convey the experience while and with drawing, the researcher becomes a part of the process itself. Drawing becomes being, and being is drawing.


Agnese Bankovska

Agnese Bankovska is a postdoctoral researcher in social anthropology at the University of Helsinki. In her project on gardening practices in Vantaa and Helsinki (2022–2024), Bankovska looks at the (dis)entanglements of care among different actors in the gardens. Bankovska also teaches the graduate course Introduction in Multispecies Ethnography and Creative Methods at Riga Stradins University.

Cite as

agnese-bankovska. 2024. “Silent Imprint of Light.” Anthropology News website, January 11, 2024.