Migrant Mothers and Daughters – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research


Image Credit: Marcia Chandra

Learning Lab on Migrant Mothers and Daughters – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research

Date: 19/20th July

Time: 10 – 5:00pm

 Venue: Taylor Digital Studio, Tate Britain

This two-day Learning Lab focuses on Migrant Mothers and Daughters – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research at a pivotal stage of its development. We will critically re-examine film footage shot throughout the Migrant Mothers and Daughters research, collectively reflecting on the collaborative process enacted across ‘walking methods’ and ‘participatory theatre’, together with listening and learning from participants and diverse contributors to the project.

Invited artists, researchers and performers, Jane Arnfield and Natasha Davis – whose respective work explores and challenges the boundaries of (auto)biography, identity, memory, citizenship, belonging and participation – will engage in comparative dialogue with the Migrant Mothers and Daughters’ research team and with participants, creative contributors and project advisors.

A central focus of Learning Lab is to probe the overlaps, differences and conceptual tensions between social science–led PAR (Participant Action Research) and the participatory methodologies conducted across the field of visual arts and performance practice. A key goal will be to inform the shaping of an online toolkit providing training tools for social science researchers.

2-Day Learning Lab Programme

Wednesday 19th 2017

10:00 – 10:30: Intro to research team and other learning lab participants

10:30 – 11:30: Conversation with research team – reflecting on process to date

11:30 – 1:00: Invited artists, Arnfield and Davis, present and explore comparative methodologies and practice – auto/biography, participatory practice through performance

1:00 – 2:00: Lunch

2:00 – 3:00: Arnfield and Davis continued

3:00 – 5:00: Film workshop examining/commenting on three streams of research footage – the process of making a ‘living archive’

Thursday 20th 2017

10:00 –1:00: Reflecting and listening to feedback from participants and advisors

1:00 – 2:00: Lunch

2:00 – 4:00: Film workshop continued

4:00 – 5:00: Final reflections and actions

Indicative Learning Lab questions include (among others):

  • Where are the potential methodological exchanges between the above fields, PAR and visual arts and performance?
  • How is co-production of knowledge and content understood and practiced in both?
  • What emerges when a camera is introduced into the research process?
  • When is filming ‘participatory’, ‘collaborative’ and ‘observational’; when is it ‘documentation’?
  • How do we unpack the differences between modes of documenting and participatory storytelling?
  • How might the methodological values of PAR a priori shape post-production of outputs;
  • What might emerge and be discovered through the retrospective editing process?
  • How best to identify the ‘change’ and ‘transformative’ moments in the footage and documentation?
  • What are the ethical challenges of PAR when working with and alongside vulnerable subjects?
  • What supports need to be in place for both subjects and research teams when navigating difficult revelations and emotions?
  • How is ‘well-being’ understood and practiced in PAR and within the visual arts and performance?
  • What is the fault line between ‘data’ and first and second person storytelling?
  • How do we join the storytelling arc between PAR and policy-practice?

 Migrant Mothers and Daughters – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research is a collaborative project led by Umut Erel, Open University with Tracey Reynolds, University of Greenwich, Maggie O’Neill, University of York, Research Fellow, Erene Kaptani and filmmaker, Marcia Chandra.

The project is structured across three integrated strands: (i) participatory methods with migrant parents’ and young people on intergenerational communication (ii) participatory methods with families with no recourse to public funds in conversation with policy-practice; and, (iii) …developing training tools for social science research in collaboration and consultation with Counterpoints Arts… and the Runnymede Trust.

 Migrant Mothers and Daughters – Participation Arts and Social Action in Research is funded by the ESRC/NCRM

Lab is now full.

Moderator: Áine O’Brien, Co-Director Counterpoints Arts

Co-Producer: Nelli Stavropoulou, Counterpoints Arts