Migrant Women Creatively Intervening in Policies and Practices of Social Exclusion : A Participatory Arts and Social Research Project
Erene Kaptani, Tracey Reynolds, Umut Erel and Maggie O’Neill.
In this presentation we share research findings from our collaborative research project (http://www.ncrm.ac.uk/research/PASAR/) ‘PASAR: Participatory Arts and Social Action in Research’ which combines Playback, Forum, Physical Theatre and walking methods in order to understand the way in which three groups of racialized migrant women - i) migrant mothers ii) adolescent girls from migrant background and iii) Black migrant mothers with no recourse to public funds - creatively intervene in creating new forms of citizenship that challenge the status quo. The research team coming from feminist, migration, applied arts and PAR disciplines and practices engaged the migrant women and young girls in coproducing knowledge and interventions within academic research, policy and practice debates. The study take place against the backdrop of current exclusionary politics of immigration to the UK that denies and undermines the rights and contributions of the migrant families to place making, social cohesion and belonging. We examine the ways in which devised theatre and walking methods create citizenship practices. By applying these PAR methods we demonstrate that the subjugated knowledge of the research participants can contest and challenge current policies and statutory practices of social exclusion. The combination of these methods used in social research also highlight that knowledge production is embodied, dialogical and performative (Kaptani&Yuval Davis, 2008; Maggie O’Neill 2017). In our presentation will share our reflections on the strengths and challenges that are part of the collaboration process with the migrant women. By doing so we aim to decolonise knowledge and propose ways of bridging the gap between academic and public debates into practices of exclusion.