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Contradiction, collaboration and criticality: Researching empowerment and citizenship in community-based arts

Rooke, Alison. 2013. Contradiction, collaboration and criticality: Researching empowerment and citizenship in community-based arts. In: Marjorie C. Mayo; Zoraida mendiwelso bendek and Carol Packham, eds. Community Research for Community Development. hampshire: palgrave macmillan, pp. 150-169. ISBN 978-1- 137- 03473-1 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter examines the work of two London-based community arts organisations: London Bubble Theatre and the Stream Arts which were selected as ESRC Take Part case studies . The work of these organisations demonstrates how arts organisations and arts practitioners are well placed to explore the themes of social action and community empowerment. Through participative and socially-engaged practice they create highly relevant and aesthetically sophisticated local projects which stimulate people to take an active and critical role in civic society. Both of these research studies were presented to the Taking Part conference/ ‘un-conference’, contributing to discussions with colleagues from arts organisations, Third Sector organisations and academics from the UK and beyond, internationally, as the previous chapter has already explained.
These Take Part case studies offer lessons regarding the relationship between the ‘community arts’ sector and the people they work with and the role of research in these organisations. As well as examining the social significance of these projects, this chapter also takes as its focus the ways these projects might be evaluated as part of a wider consideration of the evaluation regimes that the community arts sector is subject to. The chapter argues that whilst the community arts sector is required to evaluate the impact of their work in order to evidence the social impact of their work and in that process demonstrate their accountability to funders, this limits the potential for research and collaborative critical reflective practice within these organisations. The case studies also illustrate some of the debates regarding the relationship between the aesthetic dimensions of ‘participative’ ‘collaborative’ or ‘socially engaged’ art practice and community empowerment. In addition, they point to the value of developing a critical and collaborative research culture as a way of developing and reflective practice amongst organisations and their participants.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Dates:

DateEvent
2013Published

Item ID:

9162

Date Deposited:

18 Oct 2013 09:29

Last Modified:

10 Jul 2018 05:20

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/9162

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