Conversing with a variety of BOI residents has been an incredibly informative experience in its own right. I feel for every person I meet and chat with, I adapt to see the Bend through their eyes. The Bend transforms depending on whose company I am in. With Frank it’s the orchids, birds, and butterflies that are highlighted when traipsing through the region; with Tserin it is the trees; with Liz and Pete it is their personal experiences associated with particular places in the landscape.
There has been a lingering feeling that I should document my own sense of the Bend, but this has diminished as the realisation that one must live in a place in order to know it intimately directs my gaze away from myself and to the residents of the Bend of Islands. I must rely upon their own experiences of living in that place for my evidence to support my theoretical claims. This must be present in my Placing the Bend documentary, as my project IS my research.
I have not been in the Bend long enough to feel as strong a sense of place as the other residents. This relies upon establishing ritualistic practices withe one’s environment. The more you are exposed to the place the stronger your relationship with it becomes.