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Encounter with the Other: some reflections in interviewing
Stockholm University of the Arts, The Film and Media Department.
Stockholm University of the Arts, The Film and Media Department.
2015 (English)Book (Other academic) [Artistic work]
Abstract [en]

he interview is an art form. Two people meet to talk to each other. They meet to talk about something important, or to talk about the life of the person being interviewed. Reaching deep down inside a person is a process. Being part of this process can make you dizzy, giddy. Interviewing is a job where listening and inquiry often give us someone’s life story. It’s about deciphering a person’s thoughts and testimonies; what he or she says or does not say. The interview is an art form that can be likened to understanding poetry… it’s about interpreting, cracking codes, working things out. An interview must not turn into a polite conversation or discussion, but should be a form of concentrated and honest communication. The interviewer must not be out to please or impress, but should be relatively confident in him/herself without being some kind of emotional superman (übermensch). On the contrary, perhaps the interviewer’s own weaknesses and faults often result in a sensitivity and a capacity to be able to hone in on what is really important in the encounter that is ‘the interview’.The interviewer must be equipped with a certain capacity for empathy with “the Other”. To be able to identify with trong enough to understand that these experiences are not one’s own, but those of the Other. It’s important to learn how to step into an interview with full concentration and presence, then step back and regard and analyse what is happening, and then step back in again. This allows for what is generally a necessary (and healthy) distancing of oneself, as well as some pause for reflection and repose in order to then recharge for the next ‘entry’.If it so happens that I, as the interviewer, have a capacity for empathy and a sensitivity, it’s important that I don’t lose myself in the Other’s situation, but maintain a professional attitude in the interview – a brotherly, professional, attitude. I have had this sensitivity myself since childhood, and in many instances, it has been a curse. However, in recent years I have understood and consoled myself with the fact that it has also been the foundation of my work and my way of approaching people. Without it, I might not have the ‘radar’ that has assisted me in my quest for the Other’s inner self. A journey that I never cease to be fascinated by, as my curiosity is continuously piqued anew.During a walk with a colleague and similarly sensitive soul, it became apparent that we both held a common belief that we had done our best interviews when we were heavily hung over. This was when our senses were at their most open and our own defences completely crushed. There exists a freedom in this parlous state – a freedom in which feelings and intuition have free rein. Where we can detect very subtle signals and undertones from interviewees. Any question can be asked – prestige and our own inner fears do not exist in this state.That said, to subject oneself to a heavy hangover as a working method is a highly unhealthy and just plain crazy idea! For this reason, we must try to achieve this same sense of freedom by other means.And that is what this book deals with. It is based on the encounters I have had and what occurred in these encounters. How can I make use of this experience to achieve… honesty? (not the truth)… and some meaning with it all… How can I prepare myself?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholms dramatiska högskola , 2015, 1. , 128 p.
Keyword [en]
interviewing techniques
National Category
Arts Applied Psychology
Research subject
Artistic practices
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uniarts:diva-192ISBN: 978-91-981163-3-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uniarts-192DiVA: diva2:1074035
Projects
Utvecklingsarbete
Available from: 2017-02-14 Created: 2017-02-14 Last updated: 2017-04-11

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