Following one's nose: 'Smellwalks' through qualitative data

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This Note utilises the idea of ‘smellwalks’ as a novel way of engaging with qualitative data. Based on a larger study of victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, it argues that smelling data – and allowing ourselves to viscerally imagine the odours and scents that the data evoke for us – can foster deeper insights into interviewees’ embodied experiences; in this case, embodied experiences of war and armed conflict. Within the data – consisting of 63 semi-structured interviews with victims-/survivors of conflict-related sexual violence in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH), Colombia and Uganda – there were frequent references to food and cooking. This Note follows the scent trails within two particular interviews – one from BiH and the other from Colombia.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Research
Early online date19 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the H2020 European Research Council (724518).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Colombia
  • embodied experiences
  • food and cooking
  • ‘Smellwalks’

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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