Understanding Intimacy. A Project, a Book, and a Movie Between Madrid, Montevideo, and Mexico City

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Micro-stories of daily life gathered between 2011 and 2015 provide ethnographic flesh to reflections about the ongoing transformations of the intimate sphere and its centrality in contemporary cultural life. The project, conceived from a multi-sited, collaborative, experimental, transurban, narrative, and visual approach, resulted in a documentary film (The order I Live In. An Indoor Urban Symphony. Canal UNED, 2018) and a book (Metropolitan Intimacies. An Ethnography On the Poetics of Daily Life. Lexington Books, 2022).

We explore the role of poetic processes in the making of the intimate space. Since intimacy, as the art of giving form and meaning to one’s life, is by necessity narrative and poetic. The emergence of one’s own order entails a ceaseless task of boundary work, semantic displacement, personal signature, and formal closure. These micro-stories then harbor the mysteries of singularity, the entanglement between the senses, the rejoicing of the self, the emergence of the commons, and the homesickness of the voyager, among other deep processes of intimate life.

Francisco Cruces Villalobos professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at UNED

Jorge Moreno Andrés professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at UNED

Lourdes Nieto Quintas editor and broadcaster, UNED Media