CLEAR has worked with Couple3 Films (Taylor Hess and Noah Hutton) on a number of short documentary projects using a participatory filmmaking approach. Noah and Taylor became full lab members of CLEAR for their first project with us, GUTS, and all films undergo collective editing and final consensus with the entire lab. We also collectively created a novel media consent form that highlights our shared responsibilities to one another in a participatory model.
GUTS is a film about CLEAR and our approach to plastic pollution research generally.
After GUTS, CLEAR and Couple3 continued to make short films together. In 2020, they were funded by MEOPAR to create short docs on some of CLEAR’s behind-the-scenes lab methodologies. What process can address the power dynamics that exist in all labs and research collaborations? How can we do everyday research differently, in ways that are more equitable, humble, and accountable?
We open the black box of what seem like mundane laboratory practices: choosing author order on papers (episode 1), choosing the values that guide the lab (episode 2), and how we run lab meetings (episode 3). The films show that these activities are far from mundane, but are the main vehicals for equity, humility, accountability, and the creation of a lab collective. Our goal: to do science differently, in ways that do not replicate existing power dynamics. While the methods in the Laboratory Life series will not always be directly replicable in other labs, we hope that their spirit is transferable.
Also: these methods are intellectual products of CLEAR. We are a methods lab. If you do use these methods, please cite them as research products. Citational information is at the end of each film.
Finally, we worked together with Liz Pijogge, Northern Contaminants Researcher for the Nunatsiavut Government, on a short film on our research collaboration in Nunatsiavut: “What does a good research partnership look like? Liz Pijogge, Northern Contaminants Researcher for the Nunatsiavut Government and Dr. Max Liboiron, professor at Memorial University, tell the story of how they met, how they do research together and how it’s a model of capacity “sharing” instead of Capacity “Building” to conduct plastic pollution research in Nunatsiavut.”