Dostojanstvo: Upholding Human Dignity While Developing Safe Learning Frameworks and Networks for Artists to Train in Arts and Human Rights, Development and Democracy in Post-conflict Communities.

By Stephanie Knight.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The focus of this reflective narrative is to illustrate some of the research findings and challenges in the development stage of a pan-European arts project, a project that extends from South East Europe to North West Europe. It considers the processes of introducing critically engaged development education to post-graduate artists in a culture of ‘banking’ education [Freire 1972 pg 46] and structures of arts practices that often deny social engagement. The paper calls attention to the research outcomes from the Introductory Days that were the crucial catalysts for the artists and practitioners involved with the project. The paper also illustrates how the introduction of reflective practice challenges defensive survival mechanisms that can feature strongly in post-conflict communities. The paper highlights some of the issues and dialogues when working in practice-as-research within international arts development and the development of an arts-based articulation of such research practices. It considers how we can ensure our research work moves beyond meaningful reflection and challenges superficial activism. It questions how we remain functioning in principled practice as researchers whilst confronting corruption, betrayal and oppression from political and administrative organisations and individuals.

Keywords: Human Rights, Democracy, Development, Post-Graduate Training, International Contexts

The International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 1, Issue 6, pp.167-172. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.705MB).

Stephanie Knight

Director, Centre for Community Arts Research & Practice, School of Drama & Creative Industries, Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Stephanie Knight is the Director of the Centre for Community Arts Research & Practice. She joined the School of Drama at QMU in 2000. Prior to this she had a research post at University of Glasgow after completing her research degree at Glasgow School of Art. She is also a theatre director specialising in Development work and an internationally published writer and researcher in participative practice as research and development. Her specialist areas are drama for development, democracy and reclamation. Stephanie has been engaged with community practice for 30 years including working as a local authority arts officer and as a director of an arts development organisation. She has a passionate curiosity about the learning and development which are inherent to the work and celebrates the reclamation of the critical space.


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