Jenkins, Tirion Eilir Haf

Jenkins, Tirion Eilir Haf
Start date:
September 2020
Research Topic:
An investigation into the link between surfing and mental health resilience: The case of Arctic Surfers in the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Jon Anderson
Supervising school:
School of Planning and Geography,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My research is interested in the relationship between (arctic) surfing, (mental) health and wellbeing. This research is primarily situated within Health Geographies and is particularly influenced by the ontological post-human turn in considering how we as humans and bodies are ‘affected’ by the material (or natural) world (Andrews 2019).

Within Health Geographies, I am particularly interested in what Foley et al (2019) describe as the ‘hydrophilic turn’, referring to the emergence of ‘Blue Space’ Geographies. ‘Blue Spaces’ are increasingly recognised for their potential for health and wellbeing (Foley and Kistemann 2015) and my research is situated in what has come to be known as the ‘Blue Health’, ‘Blue Care’ (Britton et al 2018) or ‘Blue Mind’ movement.

Methodologically, I am interested in how can we use creative and visual methods to understand embodied experiences of blue health, particularly when exploring non-discursive phenomena such as mindfulness, flow and immersion. I hope to contribute to existing discussions around, and understandings of, mindfulness by taking a post-humanistic geographical approach. I intend to do this through examining how the immersive experience of surfing in arctic conditions contributes to a sense of wellbeing in dark winter months, thus expanding the literature on health geographies, the embodied experience of surfing and resilience strategies.