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Training for using participatory theatre and walking methods in social research

Friday, October 27, 2017 - 09:30 to 17:30
Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA

This workshop addresses the UK social science community's need to gain a better understanding of how participatory action research (PAR) approaches engage marginalised groups in research as co-producers of knowledge. The workshop combines methodological and practical experience of walking methods, participatory theatre methods and how we might combine them. In doing so the workshop creates a space for exploring, sharing and developing research practice in mobile methods and participatory theatre. We will reflect on the methodological benefits and challenges involved using examples from our research project and practice. Participants will have the opportunity to try out walking methods, theatre methods, including forum theatre and playback theatre exercises. The course aims to develop knowledge, understanding and confidence in employing mobile and participatory research methods and explores their potential benefits for social research.

The course covers:

  • Description, delivery and evaluation of participatory arts based methods in social research
  • Hands on experience of using walking methods and participatory theatre
  • Ethical Considerations in working with marginalised groups through PAR
  • Benefits and Challenges of using these methods in  social research

The Speakers

Umut Erel is Principal Investigator on this project, she is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the Open University. She has widely published on migration, gender, racism and their articulations in citizenship as well as participatory creative research methods. She was the principal investigator of an AHRC funded research project Migrant mothers Caring for the Future where a network of academics, artists, migrant families and practitioners came together through discussions and participatory arts workshops and performances on migrant families, citizenship and social interventions.

Erene Kaptani is the Research Fellow and Participatory Artist on this project. She is an anthropologist, participatory theatre artist and Drama therapist with expertise in applied theatre/arts for social research, community building and public impact. She Is a member of Playback South Theatre Company and devises performances at Studio Upstairs arts community. She produced and performed in Suspended Lives, a play with refugee groups at Tara Arts and Rich Mix. She devises performances and arts events to question constructions of identities, institutional and public communications.

Maggie O'Neill is Co-Investigator on this project. She is chair in Sociology/Criminology at the University of York where she co-chairs the migration network, crime network and is a member of the Centre for Women's Studies. Maggie has a long history of working with artists and communities to conduct participatory action research and participatory arts research and is a co-investigator on the PASAR research project. She has published in three substantive areas, asylum and migration; sex work and innovative methodologies.

Tracey Reynolds is Co-Investigator on this project. She is a Research Professor and Professor of Social Sciences at the University of Greenwich. She has conducted extensive empirical research in the UK across a range of social issues including black and minority families living in disadvantaged communities, and the study of families in the Caribbean and North America. Research awards include Economic Social Research Council on Caribbean youths and transnational identities (with Elisabetta Zontini). She is Guest Editor of Transnational and Diasporic youth Identities', Identities (with Elisabetta Zontini) (2015). She used participatory theatre and psychosocial mapping with Erene Kaptani working on ‘Youth Matters’ research project.

See further information about the training day.

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