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