In July 2017 I took a flight to Malta (right below Sicily) to study. I had always thought about taking a subject or course abroad as part of my CSU study, just hadn’t found an Illustration-specific opportunity. Then I found out about individual programs and got super excited! I could shape a short-term program that would take me geographically and academically where I would like to go?! Amazing.
I spent the majority of the month in Gozo, little sister island of Malta in the beautiful bay of Xlendi. The program offered accommodation, food and advice to realise cultural research, all generated from drawing as a communication and documentation tool: Graphic Anthropology.
What did I get out of being a participant at the ‘ Off the Beaten Track ‘ summer school for Anthropologists?
1. The program is largely self-initiated and open-ended. I think of myself as a grown-up now, and being afforded the chance to shape my own days felt great. Start research at 6am to avoid the heat? Yep. Draw at a site for two hours? No problem. Take a kayak to a neighboring island spontaneously? Why not?!
2. The program offers promising research the opportunity to be published. Being allowed the opportunity to release a peer-reviewed journal as an undergraduate is rare, and super exciting for a wannabe academic!
3. Gaining academic credit for my study while learning in glorious summertime Mediterranean was a huge plus.
4. Real life – out-in-the-world, applied research put my design and visual communication skills to the test, collecting oral histories and drawing a series outside traditional game rules. I closed the laptop, turned off the internet and out of the books.