How can Issues Based - Arts Research, co-created with local communities contribute to social change?
This masterclass explores how Issues Based- Arts Research methodologies can contribute to the production of new and actionable knowledge in regard to issues of social justice, such as Human Rights and Conflict transformation. Issues Based Arts Research (IB-AR) is a bottom-up methodology based on knowledge production through the co-creation of art, driven by the social issues at hand and through the lived experiences of the communities themselves. Moreover IB-AR can enable research communities to emerge and thus contribute to inclusive and reimagined solutions in society and policy.
Drawing on case studies from Ireland (conflict transformation) and Zambia (challenging stigma – HIV/Aids), we illustrate how art works made in co-creation with communities in the field can transform silenced and marginalized groups affected by issues of social injustice into communities researching their own solutions to overcome the issues they are facing. The case studies illustrate how artistic thinking and processes of ‘artmaking’ can unlock dormant knowledge embedded within communities, cross cultural boundaries and promote local stakeholders as co-researchers no matter of age, educational attainment or linguistic barriers. As such, IB-AR enables the democratization of knowledge.
IB-AR presents a unique possibility for stakeholders such as local and international NGOs, educators, activists, local (youth) leaders and governmental agencies to build meaningful and sustainable relationships with the communities they seek to support. The masterclass discusses how these stakeholders can be involved in the design, content, processes and outcomes of an IB-AR project.
Who should participate?
researchers and professionals who want to explore the Art based reserach methodogy
new entrants to the sector
directors and supervisors
For what organization?
Organizations active in philanthropy such as equity funds, corporate funds, family funds and charity desks
Public services and companies working towards the SDGs
The series contributes to the professional development of employees in the organization. By participating with several colleagues, you create a shared understanding of the issues and possible solutions
What will you learn?
After the masterclass, participants will have learned:
• What Issues Based Arts Research (IB-AR) entails.
• How IB-AR can capture the needs and expectations of communities affected by issues of social injustice.
• How IB-AR can produce new knowledge and contribute to positive social change in local communities and uncover new methods of dialogue between art and issues of conflict and injustice.
• Concrete insights into how key stakeholders, researchers and artists can incorporate IB-AR into their work.
What's in it for you?
Apart from the theory, we will also provide a real case for practice:-
Case studies – Background information
1. Conflict Transformation; The Killing of Michael McIllvean
This case study deals with how issues based art led to the de-escalation of violence following the sectarian murder of Catholic teenager.
2. Human Rights and Social Justice; Challenging Stigma - HIV / Aids in Zambia
This case study gives insight into an Issues based art research project to promote youth voices in response to HIV Aids pandemic in Zambia.
Our program leader
Dr. John Johnston graduated with a PhD from the University of Sunderland, presenting a portfolio and thesis that highlighted the intrinsic connectivity between artistic thinking and conflict transformation. He presents a hybrid identity of artistic- activist - educator and openly promotes an issues based arts pedagogy as a vehicle for social change.
He asserts that the world is in the grip of an apathetic education system that promotes a culture of inertia. This leads to the de-politicisation of society and a loss of agency. John states that an issues based arts education counteracts the effect of political and cultural inertia and leads to the development of the caring critical society we need to change the world.