Working on the edge : Exploring the creative tensions experienced by practitioners facilitating participatory media projects with refugees and asylum seekers in Australia

Woodrow, Nina (2014) Working on the edge : Exploring the creative tensions experienced by practitioners facilitating participatory media projects with refugees and asylum seekers in Australia. In Bossio, D. (Ed.) Refereed Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference: The Digital and the Social: Communication for Inclusion and Exchange, Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-18.

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This paper aims to provide a contextualised and embedded exploration of how the notions of "practice" and "participation", key concepts in the study of culture and media, are manifest in an example of a complex creative project. This project aimed to engage with refugees and asylum seekers through the co-creation of cultural material and is an outcome of an? ethnographic action research (Tacchi et al. 2003) partnership involving a community development worker in a settlement support agency and a storytelling/community media researcher (the author), along with other project collaborators. The discussion of this project focuses on the role of the facilitator and illustrates the processes of orchestrating a complex project involving a series of linked stages with cumulative effect. As practitioners at this site we are working in the space where personal narratives, participatory arts and media, and the staging of intercultural, civic dialogue events, intersect. Co-creative media facilitation in these contexts involves both managing hybrid communicative spaces and (re)combining the "integrative practices" (Schatzki 1996) of a range of professional approaches and creative roles. This is liminal work, located on the boundaries of several disciplines and practices. Drawing on reflections gathered from collaborative ethnographic descriptions (Bhattacharya 2008), this paper traces moments of practitioner uncertainty that can be linked to the way "practice" and “participation” is problematised within the community cultural development field in a way that is at times an uneasy fit with conventional ways of operating in social service roles. These moments of tension also indicate where this project pushed practitioners into spaces of improvisation and new learning. Keywords: Youth, refugees, community cultural development, co-creative media facilitation, ethnographic action research, intercultural dialogue.

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ID Code: 82828
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: youth, refugees, community cultural development, intercultural dialogue, co-creative media facilitation, participatory action research, socially engaged arts
ISSN: 1448-4331
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Current > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Author
Copyright Statement: This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australian License. To view a copy of this license, visit Creative Commons or send them a letter: Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94115, USA.
Deposited On: 27 Mar 2015 01:25
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2016 12:30

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