Voices and Visions: Creativity as a Transformative Process in Three Northern Contexts

By Dahne Harding.

Published by The Arts Collection

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

This project is an arts-based, qualitative examination of the phenomenological reality of individuals who live on the edge of society in Prince George, British Columbia through the use of multimedia collage. The primary group consisted of homeless women living in an emergency shelter in downtown Prince George, British Columbia. Students and social activists were included to highlight some of the common threads and experiences reported. The primary discussion is centered on the women from the shelter. The project provided opportunity for observation of the potential of art as a mechanism for theorizing about the structures of oppression that mediate everyday experiences; additionally, I note the connection between the creative process, feminine solidarity, and healing while creating a model for community arts-based research that can contribute positively to the individuals, agencies, and research institutions who participate in such work. The research is intentionally not quantitative; however, statistical data would be useful to underscore the value of arts based research. Further research could be directed in a number of areas including the use of creativity for identity recovery, particularly for First Nations clients struggling with addiction/trauma issues.

Keywords: Creativity and Social Justice, Creativity and Education, Creativity and Community Health

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp.169-178. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.116MB).

Dahne Harding

Artist, Master of Arts (Candidate) Gender Studies, Department of Gender Studies, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada

I am originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and have meandered my way into art, healing and academia through a complex matrix of gender, class, and race. Ten years in the deep American South created in me an awareness of racism, while raising a family of six as a single parent brought the marginalization of working class single mothers to the forefront of my experience. Gender Studies has brought social activism, and its theoretical underpinnings, and my vocation as an artist together in my education.


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