Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Representing Camphill

Representing Camphill

Anne Dalke's picture

In your Monday evening posting this week, reflect on your experiences @ Camphill: What expectations did you have of our field site? What did you notice once we arrived? What did you learn on the visit? What surprised you? What questions do you still have?  What thoughts do you have now about the possibility of  "ethical representation" of the villagers?

Identity Matters Tags






I feel that alot my reactions and feelings at Camphill were so intertwined with the events of last week that it is necessary to give a disclaimer that the emotional exhaustion defintely played a role in how I experienced the Village. I feel that the many surprises of last week were all a factor in how my observations of the facilities felt even more surprising. I already spoke in class about my struggles and surprises about Riva's visit and I felt almost even more out of my element at Camphill. 






Walking into Camphill, even having been told in detail about the village, its mission, and all that it has to offer, I had no image in my head of what to expect. Perhaps because the concept seemed so intriguing to me, but also partially so concerning, especially in light of discussions about viewing disability as pathology and locking away individuals with disabilities as we lock away our elderly. Though I knew that this was a highly improbable parallel, I couldn’t help but fear, at worst, that these were relatives exiled by families who couldn’t otherwise look after them.

Is it possible to feel simultaneously more settled and more anxious about this upcoming trip to Camphill? After interacting (briefly) with residents at Camphill, I'm feeling better about working with them to create a portrait of themselves. I was excited by the facilities and the beauty of the place; I wasn't really sure what to expect regarding how it would look, and I didn't know how much farmland and forest the area would include. I appreciated Mimi's honesty about how Camphill navigates the dueling pressures to serve the residents and balance the budget.