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Showing papers in "Journal of Arts & Communities in 2012"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors consider some of the methodological issues faced by a team working in the emerging field of participatory arts and health research and argue that, in order to optimize research rigour, there is a need to address four fundamental issues.
Abstract: This article considers some of the methodological issues faced by a team working in the emerging field of participatory arts and health research. It argues that, in order to optimize research rigour, there is a need to address four fundamental issues. First, researchers should define the scope of the art(s) under study (in terms of domain, level of participation and potential impact); second, they should adopt a concept of health appropriate for the target sample group; third, the research method should be consistent with the extent and type of evidence already existing in the area and that to be sought; and finally, there is a need to select a means of data collection and communication that accurately represents both the outcomes/impacts of arts interventions and the experiences of research subjects, which may not be reducible to the language conventionally used in research. The issues are illustrated with an account of one research project being undertaken by the team.

16 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the changing nature of the flood archive drawing on different disciplinary perspectives, approaches and attitudes, and concluded that informal archives have the potential to form a key resource in communities learning to live with changing flood risk and uncertainty.
Abstract: The paper explores the changing nature of the flood archive drawing on different disciplinary perspectives, approaches and attitudes. It uses a braiding metaphor to map a journey around shifting islands that contain different primary research on flood archives - in expert hydrology, in lay flood knowledges, in capturing flood narratives and memories, in drawing on folk song as an informal archive, and in charting archives for a fluid landscape. The narrative and critical commentary ‘in the flow’ draws out interlinking themes, exploring what forms of archive can capture, and share reflections on, a landscape that is increasingly or episodically wet – a fluid landscape? It explores different facets of the flood archive: in terms of fact versus fiction, the changing nature of material archived, who archives, changing archival practice, changing use of archives, and future archives. It concludes that informal archives have the potential to form a key resource in communities learning to live with changing flood risk and uncertainty.

14 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the interconnection of multi-directional narratives of flooding through the representation of the memories of inhabitants of wet landscapes in past and present England and illustrated three aspects of the relationship between floods and memory: first, the contextual mediation of flood memories in the contemporary moment Here audio-visual and textual media (photographs, newspapers articles, television news broadcasts) of present and past flooding compete for our attention; second, the documentation of the early modern English treatment of a changing 'wateryscape' and whether we can discern dis/continua with and in contemporary media; and
Abstract: Floods are a threat to livelihoods and landscapes in many places around the world and at many points in history Yet, they also seem to be an intrinsic component of many landscapes and livelihoods This article explores the interconnection of multi-directional narratives of flooding through the representation of the memories of inhabitants of wet landscapes in past and present England The article will illustrate three aspects of the relationship between floods and memory: first, the contextual mediation of flood memories in the contemporary moment Here audio-visual and textual media (photographs, newspapers articles, television news broadcasts) of present and past flooding compete for our attention; second, the documentation of the early modern English treatment of a changing ‘wateryscape’ and whether we can discern dis/continua with and in contemporary media; and third, the dis/connecting narratives of living with floods in the present day We emphasize that remembering and forgetting floods is an active and creative process for both flooding communities and those who research them Stories and experiences of past floods are strategically used within, between and across communities to construct a particular sense of self and a statement on vulnerability and resilience to floods Thereby the article contributes to developing a creative engagement between past and present, which goes beyond encompassing hegemonic narratives of historical and environmental change by reinforcing the potential of researching everyday, experiential landscapes beyond arbitrary periodization

11 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors report and analyse the responses of 34 semi-structured depth interviews on the value of theatre with participants drawn from audiences in the UK and Australia, and highlight the discrepancies between the neo-liberal, instrumental methods of evaluating value imposed on arts organizations by governments and the personal, intrinsic insights provided by audiences themselves.
Abstract: The neoliberal agenda which has dominated the creative industries for the past few decades has engendered a range of problems for arts and cultural managers and policymakers. This article critiques the wholesale application of economic, business and management tools, theory and principles to arts and cultural organizations; it then proposes solutions to assist these organizations in creating, identifying and evaluating value on their own terms and in line with their missions and organizational objectives. The solutions proposed are generated by an application of the literature on arts management and evaluation, cultural policy and sociology and through qualitative research into audiences’ articulations of value. The article reports and analyzes the responses of 34 semi-structured depth interviews on the value of theatre with participants drawn from audiences in the UK and Australia. It highlights the discrepancies between the neo-liberal, instrumental methods of evaluating value imposed on arts organizations by governments and the personal, intrinsic insights provided by audiences themselves. It argues ultimately for a balanced, neo-institutionalist approach to arts management and evaluation, which would evaluate organizational performance in line with artistic goals and objectives. In so doing, it makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about cultural value and provides a creative, alternative evaluation framework for arts managers, marketers and cultural policymakers.

9 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored the performing of refugee representation through an examination of two examples of practice, one a small-scale theatre project in Queensland, Australia the other a multifaceted arts project in the United Kingdom involving theatre, community photography and a combustible 25-metre sculpture.
Abstract: In 2006 there were 9.9 million refugees worldwide, as defined by the United Nations 1951 Convention, and 32.9 million persons of concern. In a comprehensive review of settlement programmes in Australia, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) concluded that there was an urgent need for targeted settlement assistance towards this group if they are to achieve full and active participation in society and further research should be undertaken to track the progress of humanitarian entrants in the future. The emotional, psychological and experiential impact of war and displacement on refugees has significant and long-lasting implications for both the individuals involved and the broader communities in which they live. Performers, theatre activists and human rights workers have for some time been interested in working with refugees. However, the category of refugee performance can be seen to create an essentialist frame from which the extrication of practice is almost impossible. The article will explore the performing of refugee representation through an examination of two examples of practice, one a small-scale theatre project in Queensland, Australia the other a multifaceted arts project in the United Kingdom involving theatre, community photography and a combustible 25-metre sculpture. In the article, I will argue that the effort to construct a discourse about refugee performance is enmeshed in an unwavering paradox. Put simply, how may practice deal with refugee stories when the stories themselves (bureaucratic performance, personal stories as victimhood, suffering as spectacle) make an encounter with alterity more elusive?

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The African Cultural Memory Youth Arts Festival (ACMYAFYAF) as discussed by the authors was a third space through which the participants explored embodied knowledge and African cultural memory towards a positive self-concept and bicultural competence.
Abstract: The article examines ways in which arts-based educational approaches were applied to a group of African descendant youth in Western Australia, as a way of understanding challenges to their bicultural socialization and means to developing their bicultural competence. Drawing on African cultural memory as a cultural resource enabled participants to discover the relevance of African cultural memory and embodied knowledge to their bicultural socialization and bicultural competence. The article challenges the argument that successful integration into dominant culture is only possible when migrants remain focused on acquisition of dominant cultural values – ‘Fitting in’. The African Cultural Memory Youth Arts Festival (ACMYAF) offered an alternative conception of successive integration as a process inclusive of creative appropriation and revaluation of ancestral culture through cultural memory. The festival became a third space through which the participants explored embodied knowledge and African cultural memory towards a positive self-concept and bicultural competence.

6 citations



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the work of cultural geographer John Wylie and artist Simon Read is compared with those of the artist/academic Simon Read, with the purpose of asking; how might landscapes and lives within them be considered as settled, unsettled and/or unsettling?
Abstract: This experimental article seeks to bring new approaches to landscape emerging in cultural geography into conversation with arts and humanities practice and scholarship which are focusing on matters of community, landscape and environment, and particularly vulnerable, watery landscapes. These approaches raise a whole host of questions about how changing and at-risk-landscapes are imagined, studied and lived in. In particular I (Jones) seek to bring the work of cultural geographer John Wylie into conversation with the work of the artist/academic Simon Read, with the purpose of asking; how might landscapes and lives within them be considered as settled, unsettled and/or unsettling? These notions of settling/unsettling offer purchase on various fraught questions about how we (individuals and communities) live with nature in place and landscape. Wylie’s work can be seen as an attempt to develop a practice- and performative-based post-phenomenological account of practiced landscape in which they are woven not only from presences (the dominant view), but also absences and exiles, and tensions between (fragmented) self and landscape, and more besides. Simon Read’s art practice and research seeks to map possible futures of vulnerable coastlines in relation to communities and landscape management plans. Ideas of temporal ecologies of place/landscape are opened up, which show that much of what makes a landscape what it is at any given moment is absent from the present moment and its condition. Landscape is process, and thus it is not, and cannot be seen as just in the here and now. It is a manifestation of on-going processes with the legacies of the past in place and also processes of possible futures, including the uncertainties of climate change.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examine motivations and methods for external evaluators in taking on a brokerage relationship between artists, arts managers and governments (national and local) during an appraisal process of community arts events.
Abstract: This article examines motivations and methods for external evaluators in taking on a brokerage relationship between artists, arts managers and governments (national and local) during an appraisal process of community arts events. The argument is situated in our experience evaluating the Creating Queensland programme, a multifaceted community arts programme presented as part of the one of Australia’s largest arts events the Brisbane Festival, in 2009 and 2010. We use this case to identify a number of principles and processes that may assist in establishing an effective evaluation process – defined, for us, as a process in which partners representing different elements of the community arts project can share information in a learning network, or an innovation network, that embraces the idea of continuous improvement. We explain that we, as consultants, are not necessarily the only participants in the evaluation process in a position to broker the decision making about what to research and report on. We argue that empowering each of the delivery partners to act as brokers, using the principles, protocols and processes to negotiate what should be researched, when, how and how it should be shared, is something each delivery partner can do. This can help create a common understanding that can reduce anxieties about using warts-and-all evaluation data to learn, grow and improve in the arts. It can, as a result, be beneficial both for the participating partners and the community arts sector as a whole.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors argued that a certain type of artistic practice has accompanied neo-liberalism that borrows these specific tropes akin to project management and made connections between Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello's exploration of these ideological tropes in The New Spirit of Capitalism ([1999] 2007) and neo-conservative management ideas manifest in the Creative Industries in Britain.
Abstract: The nature of neo-liberal management theory, based on the artist as a model worker, has proven problematic for theorizing and analysing contemporary socially engaged artistic practices. In the past, these practices were considered to be hostile to capitalism but now, with the rise of project-driven work within mainstream business models, how can we understand the socially engaged artist’s relationship to capitalism? The project, the network and communication have become key attributes within neo-liberal management discourse. In this article it is argued that a certain type of artistic practice has accompanied neo-liberalism that borrows these specific tropes akin to project management. It makes connections between Luc Boltanski and Eve Chiapello’s exploration of these ideological tropes in The New Spirit of Capitalism ([1999] 2007) and neo-liberal management ideas manifest in the Creative Industries in Britain. This analysis provides the theoretical base for examining Thomas Hirschhorn’s role as a ‘project manager’ within the Bataille Monument (2002) project in the second half of the article. It is argued here that Hirschhorn retains his anti-capitalist leanings whilst also adopting neo-liberal management tropes in the articulation and execution of his project.

4 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a piece of participatory research around art walking practice is presented as a pair on interleaved trialogues, the aim is to capture the experience of participation and the array of interactions, debates and perspectives uncovered whilst walking the wateryscape and subsequently.
Abstract: At the heart of this article is a piece of participatory research around art walking practice. Presented as a pair on interleaved trialogues, the aim is to capture the experience of participation and the array of interactions, debates and perspectives uncovered whilst walking the wateryscape and subsequently. Undertaken as a piece of performative and transversal writing, the aim here is to open up, but refuse to resolve, questions of ways of representing the wet, of emotional and communal resilience and of the position of an art walking practice in representing marginalized and watery, human and non-human voices. In resisting closure and in foregrounding the ‘always in the making’ nature of walking practice (growing knowledge by following a path), the article faces the unresolved future of a people yet to come. The assertion is that walking the liminal is both an unsettling and unsettled practice that is only emphasized when the walk is performed in the wateryscape.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors address the practice of community drama as an aspect of conflict transformation in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the peace process established by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, particularly examining the tensions between public policy, arts management, and the experiences of practitioners and participants.
Abstract: This article addresses the practice of community drama as an aspect of conflict transformation in Northern Ireland since the beginning of the peace process established by the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, particularly examining the tensions between public policy, arts management, and the experiences of practitioners and participants. The key focus is an analysis of the ways in which organizational contexts have enhanced or restricted the potential for critically reflective practice. As has been discussed in a previous article by M. Jennings and A. Baldwin, the prioritization within cultural development organizations of adhering to ‘top-down’ funding agendas and evaluation criteria has neglected consideration of the real challenges faced and the achievements of facilitators and participants within the context of specific projects. The complexity of the relationships between artists, cultural development organizations, funding bodies and the state have made it difficult for community artists to establish and transmit the values and significance of their own practice. The tensions between these stakeholders have undermined both the efficacy of community arts practice and the credibility of cultural development policy within contemporary Northern Ireland. The controversies around, scepticism regarding and even bomb attacks on the offices of the UK City of Culture company in Derry/Londonderry during the last two years indicate the risks of failure in these areas.




Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A selection of participatory art and memorial projects have engaged with public memory and interaction as discussed by the authors, and the intention has to been to explore the tension between the two aspects of memory and memory.
Abstract: The article addresses how a selection of participatory art and memorial projects have engaged with public memory and interaction. The intention has to been to explore the tension between t ...



Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore the wetland as a site of common interest, and through different approaches to the thought experiment of what it might mean to think like a wetland, they seek to engage with the materiality of these places.
Abstract: This article is an invitation to therapeutic deconstruction: a call to reconsider our assumptions about land, water and the relationship between the wet and the dry. It takes the form of a dialogue in which poetry (Gross) and visual art (Price) prompts, probes and challenges reflections offered by a natural resource economist (Staddon), a cultural ecologist (Dillon) and an anthropologist (Irvine). From our multiple perspectives, we explore the wetland as a site of common interest, and through different approaches to the thought experiment of what it might mean to ‘think like a wetland’ we seek to engage with the materiality of these places. We ask what it means to be a part of a wetland, not simply treating these habitats as resources to be managed, but as sites of dwelling that have agency in their own right.