Arts-Based Research Projects

Over the last several years I have worked on a number of arts-based research projects. These projects employed art processes and products as part of social inquiry and social engagement.

At the African center for Migration and Society (ACMS) I worked in a team of researchers in a programme called Method, Visual, Explore (MoVE). My work at MoVE involved me directly in the Sex Worker Zine Project, the Sex Worker HIV Quilting Workshop, the Sex Worker Poster Project, and Izwi Lethu, alongside a smaller participation in other projects. Some of the projects have worked on took place in Johannesburg, and others were based in Nelspruit, Makhado or Musina. These projects employed participatory arts-based methods in the production of works that have relevance to social research, but also to advocacy movement, namely the Sisonke Sex Worker Movement. In support of the ACMS objective to showcase these projects to a public audience, I curated three exhibitions at the Workers Museum in Newtown between 2015 and 2017.

Before participation within the MoVE project, however, I worked on the Jeppe Street Story Project through the Wits School of Arts, and later, on the Volume 44 project through the Market Photo Workshop. The Jeppe Street Story Project employed narrative, visual and performative methods in a research undertaking that focused on the migrant Ethiopian and Eritrean business community in Johannesburg CBD around Jeppe Street. Volume 44, which also happens to be one of the MoVE projects, employed participatory photography and narrative methods as a way to document aspects of the lived experiences of migrant sex workers in Johannesburg and Musina.