My Stage: Participatory Theatre with Immigrant Women as a Decolonizing Method in Art-based Research
This article discusses how art-based research can function as a decolonizing research method. Its analysis is based on the collaboration of social work and art education disciplines for advancing social justice and deconstructing power dominances. Empirically, the research builds on a participatory theatre project, “My Stage,” with immigrant women. The project was established as part of a larger interdisciplinary project, “Art Gear,” in Northern Finland, which promoted the bidirectional integration of the local population and people with immigrant backgrounds. The research data were collected through participatory observation and reflective discussions by the social work researcher in the theatre workshops. By the analysis of an interdisciplinary team of social work and art education researchers, we develop a context-sensitive framework of art-based research to advance decolonizing research methods, which contribute to supporting the agency and inclusion of marginalized populations in research and in their integration processes at times of complex and rapid demographic and societal changes.
Bisman, C. (2004). Social work values: the moral core of the profession. British Journal of Social Work 34(1), 109–123.
Clarke, K. (2009). Negotiating Migrant Community Needs through Social Work Research: A Finnish Example. Qualitative Social Work 10(1), 8–27.
Deepak, A. C. (2011). Globalization, power and resistance: Postcolonial and transnational feminist perspectives for social work practice. International Social Work 55(6), 779–793.
Desyllas, M.C. (2014). Using photovoice with sex workers: The power of art, agency and resistance. Qualitative Social Work 13(4), 477–501.
Dewenhurt, M. (2014). Social Justice Art. A Framework for Activist Art Pedagogy. Cambridge: Harvard Education press.
Dominelli, L. (2010). Social Work in a Globalizing World. Cambridge/Malden: Polity Press.
Eisner, E.W. (2008). Persistent tensions in arts-based research. In M. Cahnmann-Taylor & R. Siegesmund (Eds.), Arts-based research in education: Foundations for practice (pp. 16–27). New York: Routledge.
Finley, S. (2008). Arts-based research. In JG. Knowles & AL. Cole (Eds.), Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues (pp. 71–82). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Foster, V. (2012). The pleasure principle: employing arts-based methods in social work research. European Journal of Social Work 15(4), 532–545.
Foster, LJ., Deafenbaugh, L. & Miller, E. (2018). Group metaphor map making: Application to integrated arts-based focus groups. Qualitative Social Work 17(2), 305–322.
Fox, H. (2007). Playback Theatre: Inciting Dialogue and Building Community through Personal Story. The Drama Review 51(4), 89–10.
Gangas, S. (2016). From agency to capabilities: Sen and sociological theory. Current Sociology, 64(1), 22–40.
Garber, E. (2004). Social justice and art education. Visual Art Research, 30(2), 4–22.
Gergen, K. & Gergen, M. (2017). The performative movement in social science. In P. Leavy (Ed.), Handbook of Arts-Based Research (pp. 54–67). New York: Guilford.
Healy, K. (2000). Social Work Practices: Contemporary Perspectives on Change. London: Sage.
Honkakoski, A. (2017). Taiteen ja sosiaalisen työn rajalla – kohtauspaikkana draama. (At the borders of art and social work – drama as a place to encouters) Acta Universitatis Lapponiensis 341. Rovaniemi: University of Lapland Printing Centre.
Jokela, T. (2017). Art of Art Education through Art-Based Action Research for the North. In M. Fritzsche & A. Schnur (Eds.), Fokussierte Komplexität – Ebenen von Kunst und Bildung (Focused complexity – Levels of arts and education), (pp. 55–67). Oberhausen: ATHENA.
Jokela, T. Hiltunen, M. & Härkönen, E. (2015a) Art-based Action Research – Participatory Art for the North. International Journal for Education through Art, 11(3): 433–448.
Jokela, T.; Hiltunen, M. & Härkönen, E. (2015b) Contemporary art education meets the international multicultural North. In M. Tavin & J. Pullinen (Eds.), Conversations on Finnish Art Education (pp. 260–276). Aalto University publications series 5/2015, Helsinki: Aalto Arts Books.
Kaptani, E. & Yuval-Danis, N. (2008) Participatory Theatre as a Research Methodology: Identity, Performance and Social Action Among Refugees. Sociological Research Online 13(1), 1–12.
Leavy, P. (Ed.) (2017). Handbook of Arts-Based Research. New York: Guilford Press.
Leavy, P. (2008). Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice. New York: Guilford Press.
Motta, S. (2015). Becoming Woman: On Exile and Belonging to the Borderlands. Z. Arashiro & M. Barahona (Eds.), Women in Academia Crossing North-South Borders: Gender, Race and Displacement (pp. 89–116). London: Lexington Books.
Määttä, T. (2017). Broadening Social Work’s Framework on Place and Belonging: An Investigation into Identity Processes Intersected by Experiences of Migration. British Journal of Social Work 48(6), 1594–1610.
Nykänen, T., Koikkalainen S., Seppälä T., Mikkonen, E. & Rainio, M. (2017). “Pakolaiskriisi” poikkeuksien aikana (Refugee crisis in the time of exception). In V. Lähde & J. Vehkoo (Eds.), Jakautuuko Suomi? (Is Finland being divided?). Helsinki: Kone Foundation.
Payne, M. (2001). Knowledge Bases and Knowledge Biases in Social Work. Journal of Social Work 1(2), 133–146.
Ranta-Tyrkkö, S. (2010). At the Intersection of Theatre and Social Work in Orissa, India: Natya Chetana and Its Theatre. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1503. Tampere: Tampere University Press.
Robinson, K. (2014). Voices from the Front Line: Social Work with Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Australia and the UK. British Journal of Social Work 44: 1602–1620.
Spivak, G. (2005). The use and abuse of human rights: A revised version of an essay in South Atlantic Quarterly under the title “Righting Wrongs”. Boundary 2, 32(1), 131–191.
Schubert, L. & Gray, M. (2015). Critical Commentary: The Death of Emancipatory Social Work as Art and Birth of Socially Engaged Art Practice. British Journal of Social Work 45, 1349–1356.
Sinding, C; Warren, R. & Paton, C. (2014). Social work and the arts: Images at the intersection. Qualitative Social Work 13(2), 187–202.
Wehbi, S., Parada, H., George, P., & Lessa, I. (2016). Going home: Social work across and about borders. International Social Work 59(2), 284–292.
Copyright (c) 2020 Art/Research International: A Transdisciplinary Journal
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with Art/Research International agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication and the right to sublicense the Contribution, in the form in which it is published by the journal, to others under the terms and conditions of the of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND) that allows others to download the work and share the work with others with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal, but they cannot change the work in any way or use any part of the work commercially.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive public distribution and display of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
d. Authors wishing to include items (such as images or other media, or any creative works of others whether previously published or not) must contact the original copyright holder to obtain explicit permission to publish these items in Art/Research International. Writing permission should include: the title(s) of any copyrighted work, original place of publication if applicable, and an acknowledgement of having read Art/Research International's copyright notice. Authors are responsible for obtaining this permission and keeping it in their own records for later verification.