As part of #2017Migration, we held a two-day workshop exploring mixed methodologies and the opportunities – and challenges – of visual and arts-based research. We explored how our own values, beliefs, and personal biographies influence our research practice, and discussed ways to navigate these complex realities. We considered different ‘ways of doing’ research, and reflected on the how the politics of knowledge manifest in our practice.
Using examples from the MoVE project, groups worked to engage in a debate exploring some of the key ethical and methodological tensions often associated with visual research. Some of the questions we debated included:
- Are arts-based research projects ‘real’ research, or are they ‘just’ art projects?
- Do creative research projects provide forms of (art) therapy, or are they ‘just’ research projects?
- Can involved, participatory visual research projects be ethical?
- Should visual research projects link to broader advocacy activities?
Working in groups, #2017Migration participants started to map out the research projects that they will be working on over the next two weeks. These projects provide opportunities to practice reflexivity and critical thinking, unpack research approaches, explore engagement between students and researchers based in global south and global north institutions, and reflect on our own positionality and politics in research.
The six groups – made up of ACMS and Carleton students – will be producing visual, online material – through blogs – as part of this process; watch this space!
Some of the reflections generated in the two day workshop – both as individuals and as groups – are shared below.