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Over the last several years I have worked on a number of arts-based research projects. These projects participatory arts-based methods in the production of works that have relevance to social research, social engagement, and the advocacy of Sisonke.

At the African center for Migration and Society (ACMS) I worked in a team of researchers in a programme called the MoVE project (MoVE | method:visual:explore). My work at MoVE involved me directly in zine projects, quilting workshops, poster/sticker projects, and a newsletter project. I had a range of roles: from planning and conceptualisation, to facilitation, production, and writing. In support of the ACMS objective to showcase these projects to a public audience, I curated three exhibitions at the Workers Museum in Newtown, and I designed several publications to showcase work. Some of the projects took place in Johannesburg, and others were based in Nelspruit, Makhado or Musina.

This series of blog entries under the Migration and Health Project South Africa (maHpSA) present reflections relevant to my participation within MoVE at the ACMS. These reflections draw from my involvement in a range of research projects that used art processes and products as part of the inquiry.

The maHpSA aims to explore (and evaluate) ways to generate and communicate knowledge in order to improve responses to migration, health and well-being in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Multiple disciplinary perspectives, mixed method approaches, and the involvement of various stakeholders – including migrants themselves – are central.

My work with maHpSA has been varied. As a whole, the work experiences and conceptual production show a sensitivity to aspects of artistic thinking, arts-based research, participatory research, and arts-based education in their relationships to collaboration, social inquiry and engagement, advocacy, and problem-solving. Meaning-making based on site specific needs, and the politics of using artistic processes in participatory research projects have been core aspects of this work. This work is linked to my participation in past and ongoing research projects, and in some way to my own inquiry into spatial-relationships.

Much of my contribution to maHpSA has been in terms of co-conceptualisation, problem-solving, production, and in questioning research methodology. My ongoing artistic research project is titled Some Combinations. This project has had many iterations and tangential movements. There I consider the formation of cities, and the intricate relationship people have with these environments.

Notes from the blog

Some thoughts about the Bua Modiri workshop encounter

This piece was originally published on the Bua Modiri project website.   Workshops constitute profound lived experiences and moments of…

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Notes on Stitching our [HIV] Stories: Activist Quilts

The project titled Stitching our [HIV] Stories: Activist Quilts by Sisonke Sex Workers is an arts-based project which was conducted…

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MoVE Projects and the public/private distinction

In this post I make some initial notes of a mechanism employed in various MoVE projects: namely, the interfacing of…

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A productive tension in the messages from Nelspruit, and from Makhado

In March of 2017 Elsa Oliveira and I facilitated the first workshop in a new project with participants who were…

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A day to day account of a participatory arts-based workshop

This blog entry offers a facilitator’s glance into the day to day activities that comprise a participatory arts-based workshop conducted…

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Reading the Zine Image

The zines from the Sex Worker Zine Project are powerful visual and narrative accounts of personal struggles and successes, everyday…

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Arts-based research, expressive forms and uncertainty

Arts-based research is being used in and between a variety of fields. From the arts and humanities to the social…

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The workshop as an ephemeral assemblage

An important undercurrent in the arts-based research projects that I have been involved in has been the relationships that form…

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Writing a position

As I am writing this entry, I have noticed that there are some daytime sounds I hear quite often: the…

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Sketching an area of interest

Inquiry. Time. Connections. Luck. Questioning. People. Places. Unforeseen. Access. Life. Tensions. Writing. People. Perceptions. Sensations. Affects. Situated. Movements. Frictions. Art.…

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