PhotoVoice as an educational tool for intercultural learning and peacebuilding between Forcefully Displaced Populations and Host community youth

Lead Research Organisation: Lancaster University
Department Name: Educational Research

Abstract

Global numbers of Forcefully Displaced Persons (FDPs) is rising, with the majority being hosted by Low and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), which can exacerbate the economic and social challenges these countries face while compounding tensions between FDPs and the host communities as they have to share scarce resources. Efforts to reduce conflict center largely on providing humanitarian aid, vocational training, and expanding the provision of welfare services, underplaying the importance of promoting peace, dialogue and intercultural learning between the groups. This network aims to address this challenge by using photography as an educational tool and photograph artefacts as a teaching and learning resource to evaluate the potential of photovoice and visual story telling as an informal learning platform for fostering peaceful relations between the communities and easing sustainable integration of FDPs. The overarching aim is to understand how visual arts and photography training can have a redistributive effect in reducing inequalities perpetuated by intersectionality of gender, ethnicity, language, sexuality, and nationality and in mitigating tensions for peace-building through comparative research in South Africa, Turkey and Uganda. These countries host millions of FDPs. The consortium of these countries provides an enriching multi-sited context to explore the role of photography as an educational tool and the participatory methodology as an informal learning space for establishing a culture of peace, exchange of cultural knowledge, and intercultural learning.

The participatory and bottom up programs that could foster capacity building, reconciliation and societal transformation between FDPs and host communities are often ignored for the sake of economic concerns. The central aim of the network is to bring researchers, policy makers, NGOs, local actors, photographers, practitioners, FDPs and host community members to discuss photography and arts based participatory methods in providing an informal learning education opportunity for peace that could be enhanced through policy and practice. The network assembles expertise in education, photography, conflict and forced migration. The co-applicants in each country have a track record in policy-relevant research and are well networked nationally and regionally with academic, and policy actors. The network will interact through a mix of virtual and face-to-face means.

Our hypothesis is that arts training and activities conducted in an informal setting can be used for community building, and learning to live together can make important contribution to the welfare of both FDPs and host communities. To assess whether and how such benefits may be occurring and what are the best visual arts practices of adopting such a methodology, the co-applicants first have to map existing data and literature in order to gain a much clearer picture of the dynamics of FDPs and host communities and ways of improving dialogue and participatory methodologies. The outcome will be the use of visual arts as a medium to learning to live together, understand cultural diversity, ways of preventing discrimination and inequalities. We will develop a series of collaborative bids to GCRF and other funders. The network will innovate by dialogue and photography based participatory action research and academic and practitioner networks to meet the learning needs FDPs and host communities as well as local actors who engage with them. Theoretically, the network recognizes that visual arts are a powerful tool for promoting human development, equipping people with necessary learning and capabilities to access sustainable livelihood assets that go beyond income generation. It can also include non-material aspects of education such as: well-being, support peace-building, self-development, equity, social relations based on respect and equality, and positive and negative freedoms for a life with dignity.

Planned Impact

The network will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines, photographers, representatives of art galleries and non-academic stakeholders from public, private, and third sectors in South Africa, Turkey and Uganda who will be the immediate target for impact activities. The network aims to establish a discussion on arts funding. To this extent, representatives of galleries (such as Istanbul Modern) will be brought into the discussion. The final report will set out an impact agenda for the GCRF around the potential for photovoice as a methodology to support social integration of FDPs into hosting communities. The inception phase will develop impact strategies for each country as well as the UK and internationally. This will identify stakeholders and a theory of change, which will lead to a series of linked strategies. The likely beneficiaries and benefits are:

1. Policy-makers & NGOs in the case study countries: The benefits will be greater awareness of the relations, inequalities, and interaction between FDPs and host communities, a better understanding of the cross-cultural relations involved, and knowledge about how best to realise the potential for knowledge transfer and local capacity building to support peacebuilding efforts. Policy-makers working with FDP populations in source countries who will benefit from knowledge about FDP and host community relations; this will be achieved through policy reports in the local language targeting the policy makers, through the in-country advisory group, workshops, and receptions during the lifetime of the project. More importantly, the network will try to show that culture and visual arts can play a significant role in the process of integrating refugees and bring people together and increase vulnerable communities' participation in cultural and societal life by fostering the formation of inclusive cultural and institutional structures. It aims to raise awareness about the extent of collaboration between the fields of visual arts, forced migration, and education.

2. The FDPs, host communities & local actors in the case study countries: mutual cultural understanding between FDPs and host community groups and local actors can be a successful investment for creating sustainable livelihoods. Arts and culture are powerful media for bolstering peacebuilding and steering communities to express themselves peacefully. Like many forms of arts, photography will provide an important educational tool for enhancing communication between communities and local actors. It will highlight the importance of including vulnerable populations in the arts and culture. By scoping the knowledge exchange needs, we intend to explore the possibilities of co-designing training materials in future bids to enhance the potential of methodology for future use by local actors.


3. Academics, photographers & representatives of galleries: This project also aims to integrate local and national art councils and photographers into the project with the aim of possible exhibitions of photographs at a local and national level. All three universities have fine or visual arts related departments to benefit from in terms of expertise and expanding the contacts and building networks to improve visual arts practices as an educational tool for intercultural learning as well as to promote it among disadvantaged populations (such as FDPs, or in conflict-stricken areas). It aims to raise awareness about the use of visual arts in different areas and with different populations and aims to discuss how the methodology developed in this network can be taken forward.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Title Exhibitions in South Africa, Turkey, Uganda and the UK 
Description As a team, we organised four exhibitions. The exhibitions respectively took place in South Africa (September 2019), Uganda (August 2019), Turkey (October, 2019) and the UK (November, 2019). These exhibitions displayed the photographs taken by refugees and host community youth in South Africa, Turkey and Uganda. They were open to the public, except for the Uganda exhibition. This is because the Office of the Prime Minister reported instances of reports of kidnapping Rwandan and Congolese refugees in Orichunga Refugee Camp. Due to these cases, we relocated the end of project exhibition to Istanbul after consulting and getting approval from the AHRC. The UK exhibition was not part of the project. The PI Cin has secured additional funding from the ESRC FoSS and organised an exhibition at Lancaster Museum. The exhibitions were well attended with high profile guests. Turkish Ambassador and the UK Deputy High Commissioner attended the launch of exhibition in South Africa; The representatives and policymakers from Istanbul Municipality and Istanbul Governorship attended the exhibition in Istanbul and Mayor of Lancaster also visited the exhibition on the first day of the event at Lancaster Museum. In total, more than 2500 people have attended the exhibitions (UK exhibition received more than 500 guests and Turkey exhibition received more than 1000 people). The exhibitions were successfully covered by the media. The exhibition in Istanbul has taken place in mainstream Turkish press media. The PI Cin has been featured in a BBC 4 Lancashire interview to talk about the project and Lancaster Museum exhibition. 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact The exhibition has led stimulated changes in attitudes and behaviours of the public towards the refugees particularly in Turkey, South Africa and the UK. In each event, we have left a commentary book for the general public to make notes of their impressions. The accounts of the visitors show that the exhibitions fostered positive perception and image of the refugees and promoted the idea of peace. 
URL https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/sirkethaberleri/egitim/toplumsal-uyum-ve-baris-projesi-fotograf-sergisi-aci...
 
Description This was a small network project that aimed to test the use of photovoice (PV) methodology to promote peacebuilding between refugees and host community members across Turkey, South Africa and Uganda. We have worked with respectively 12 participants (6 refugees, 6 host community members) in Turkey, 15 participants in Uganda (10 Refugees, 5 host community members) and 10 participants (5 refugees, 5 host community members) in South Africa. These countries were chosen because they are among the world's largest refugee hosting countries. The starting point for our research was to deepen our engagement in each country with different stakeholders, policy makers, and key actors in the field of forceful displacement. In doing so, the photovoice was an important tool to bring refugees, host communities and key decisionmakers through exhibitions and workshops.
Our research has exceeded the objectives we have stated in the proposal and we have met three key achievement goals. First, the photovoice proved to be a significant method as a socially engaged art intervention in bringing refugees and host community members together for the first time in all three contexts. This is an important outcome as the both communities have had an opportunity to interact with one another, understand the common challenges they face in everyday life and develop empathy and friendship. Participants noted they would not have had a chance to speak one another if it were not for the photography training, the process of photograph taking in pair and the exhibitions. Method itself was seen by participants and other key stakeholders (NGOs and local governments) as being able to break down barriers between groups, demystify stigma and stereotypes to bridge relations between groups at high risk of being in conflict. Photography as an art showed that it has a great potential to create a bonding experience that facilitates collective engagement (collaboration) and easies social cohesion, unity and integration. Secondly, it was the first time that participants were given an opportunity to express themselves. Particularly in Oruchinga settlement (Uganda), NGOs and (local) Governments are always doing surveys of these groups. Therefore, data can be extractive and may not always provide a useful resource for change and policy making. This method was very welcomed in the camp, as it helped the refugees and communities express themselves directly to people who can facilitate change and be heard. PV has proven to have great potential to be a more socially conscious and just form of research than many traditional methods although there were some challenges involved, which we will publish as a paper to draw attention to the importance of contextualising PV. Through personal and collective creative expressions, they had a chance to challenge and disrupt long-standing biases/stereotypes about their own lives and the lives of others and reflect on what 'peace' (living together) means for them, which ultimately provided a fertile ground for peaceful coexistence. Lastly, testing this methodology has enabled us to engage and network with diverse key actors such as UNHCR-Ankara and Istanbul Governorship in Turkey; Genocide and Holocaust Museum in Johannesburg in South Africa; and Pan African Development, Education and Advocacy and Office of Prime Minister in Uganda. Our exhibition in South Africa and Turkey were well attended with high profile guests such as the Ambassador of Turkey to South Africa, UK Deputy High Commissioner in SA and policy makers from Istanbul Municipality and Governorship. These collaborations have led to two new projects. PI Cin and Consultant Craig Walker have been awarded a British Academy project on gender responsive peacebuilding in Turkey. PI Cin, Consultant Craig Walker, SA Co-I Ashley Gunter are now Co-Is on a large AHRC Network Plus Project (under the call of Education, Conflict and Protracted Crisis) on Decolonising Peace Education in Africa. This network grant was instrumental in laying the foundation for the larger bid and developing our knowledge and understanding of arts methods, how to do them with vulnerable communities.
Exploitation Route As we have indicated, the project has been successful in terms of developing a strong network of stakeholders and partnerships, excellent engagement and support academically, with participant communities and policy/decision-makers. In our stakeholder workshops and during the exhibitions, the NGOs, representatives from the public bodies, artists and the academics have been impressed by the successful implementation of photovoice as a socially engaged arts methods and have expressed an interest to devise similar forms of artistic methods to promote peace. There was a consensus among both academic and non-academic audience that the formal routes of peacebuilding initiatives were based on a male rational rhetoric of negotiation whereas the participatory methods such as the photovoice works more organically and creatively in bringing together people. We believe these methods can be taken forward by the NGOs and key people working in the field of integration of refugees, peace and reconciliation in terms of developing policies, activities and programmes that could aim to reduce the intercommunal conflict between different communities. It could also further benefit to the communities by making the arts accessible to them and integrating them to the art scenery of the countries. Likewise, one of our partner NGOs in Uganda, PADEAP, is now using this method in their further engagement with refugee in Nigeria and Uganda.
Although the project has been completed, future activities that we are doing are:
• More exhibitions to promote the key messages (in communities and to officials, such as in Uganda)
• Strong commitment from participants in all countries for further project involvement.
• Exploring expanding work into other countries. Consultant Dr Craig Walker secured funds to run a pilot with vulnerable trans-community members in Maputo.
• Use policy briefs to engage more NGOs and officials in each country and expand the impact
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other

 
Description This project has changed the practices of the NGO (PADEAP - Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme) we partnered in the Uganda Orichunga camp. The NGO is registered in the UK, but also has branches in Uganda and Nigeria. Our project brought changes to their practices and work with refugees and they are embracing more arts-based (drama, storytelling, photography) and refugee-centered advocacy work.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Education,Government, Democracy and Justice,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections,Other
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description NGO practice - PADEAP (Pan Africa Development, Education and Advocacy Programme)
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description In Pursuit of Peace: Photography Exhibition of Refugee Youth
Amount £1,000 (GBP)
Organisation Economic and Social Research Council 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2019 
End 11/2019
 
Description Refugees and Peacebuilding: Capacity Building and Networking for Arts-based Initiatives
Amount £4,975 (GBP)
Organisation Lancaster University 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2019 
End 04/2019
 
Description UKRI GCRF - Education in Conflict and Crisis Research
Amount £1,999,797 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/T008121/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2020 
End 03/2024
 
Description Istanbul Chamber of Commerce Collaboration 
Organisation Istanbul Chamber of Commerce
Country Turkey 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has kindly funded some of the costs of the end-of-project exhibition in Istanbul. They have provided the venue free of charge for a week. The exhibition took place in 16th Century Ottoman Pavilion, Hünkar Kasri in Eminönü. They have printed large banners to advertise the exhibition and provided free refreshments to the visitors at the reception of the exhibition.
Collaborator Contribution Istanbul Chamber of Commerce has kindly funded some of the costs of the end-of-project exhibition in Istanbul. They have provided the venue free of charge for a week. The exhibition took place in 16th Century Ottoman Pavilion, Hünkar Kasri in Eminönü. They have printed large banners to advertise the exhibition and provided free refreshments to the visitors at the reception of the exhibition.
Impact This collaboration has led to the sucessful launch of the-end-of-project exhibition in Istanbul
Start Year 2019
 
Description Istanbul Governorship Collaboration 
Organisation Government of Turkey
Department Governorship of Istanbul
Country Turkey 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution PI Cin has secured GCRF Internal Seed Corn Funding from Lancaster University at the onset of the project and this has been used to organise three early engagement stakeholder workshops in three countries. Istanbul Governorship has been one of the key participants of the engagement workshop organised in Istanbul in March 2019. After the workshop, they have fully supported our project and introduced us to the key NGOs working with refugees as well as the Protection Officers of UNHCR in Ankara. They have also been active participants of the workshops and exhibitions organised in Istanbul in September and October 2019. They have also played a key role in dissemination our exhibitions and findings through their contacts as a public institution.
Collaborator Contribution PI Cin has secured GCRF Internal Seed Corn Funding from Lancaster University at the onset of the project and this has been used to organise three early engagement stakeholder workshops in three countries. Istanbul Governorship has been one of the key participants of the engagement workshop organised in Istanbul in March 2019. After the workshop, they have fully supported our project and introduced us to the key NGOs working with refugees as well as the Protection Officers of UNHCR in Ankara. They have also been active participants of the workshops and exhibitions organised in Istanbul in September and October 2019. They have also played a key role in dissemination our exhibitions and findings through their contacts as a public institution.
Impact This collaboration has led to further collaboration/partnership in PI Cin's British Academy Project on gender-responsive peacebuilding in Turkey.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Istanbul Migration Research 
Organisation Copenhagen Municipality
Country Denmark 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project led to an official collaboration between the Istanbul Municipality and PI Melis Cin and Turkey Co-I Necmettin Dogan. We have signed a protocol with the Municipality to undertake Istanbul Migration Research funded by them. We will then use the findings of this research to develop policies for integration and peacebuilding initiatives for the Municipality. Please note that we have not requested any consultancy or salary costs from Istanbul Municipality and agreed to take this research and consultancy as an act of social/moral responsibility. The Municipality was particularly impressed by our exhibition and the amount of work we have produced by a small amount of money in such a short time.
Collaborator Contribution This project led to an official collaboration between the Istanbul Municipality and PI Melis Cin and Turkey Co-I Necmettin Dogan. We have signed a protocol with the Municipality to undertake Istanbul Migration Research funded by them. We will then use the findings of this research to develop policies for integration and peacebuilding initiatives for the Municipality. Please note that we have not requested any consultancy or salary costs from Istanbul Municipality and agreed to take this research and consultancy as an act of social/moral responsibility. The Municipality was particularly impressed by our exhibition and the amount of work we have produced by a small amount of money in such a short time.
Impact No Outputs and outcomes are available yet
Start Year 2020
 
Description PADEAP (Pan African Development, Advocacy and Education Programme) - Uganda 
Organisation Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme
Country Uganda 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have introduced the PADEAP to innovative ways of doing peace and community work.
Collaborator Contribution During our early engagement meeting Uganda, we have developed a partnership with PADEAP which has experience in working with refugees in Oruchinga settlement. They have played a key role in collaborating with us in conducting the workshop and in organising the exhibition in the refugee settlement
Impact As outlined in the key findings and narrative impact, most of the work PADEAP does in the region was focused on service-based activities such as delivering training particularly in the field of mental health to women or providing literacy courses. This has been the first time, they have engaged in the arts-based participatory research. We believe we have made a change in their activities and practices - they are now using the storytelling aspect of our project to work with the refugee women (in sensitive contexts where photography can be too risky for some participants due to the concerns of surveillance).
Start Year 2019
 
Description Early Stakeholder Engagement Workshops in Turkey, South Africa and Uganda 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We organised an early engagement workshop in March 2019 in three countries: Turkey, South Africa and Uganda. These workshops provided i) further engagement with non-academic stakeholders ii) an additional impact focused event iii) additional dissemination activity, and iv) insights about the local contexts and methodology. Such an early engagement workshop was not part of the current research grant and was funded by Lancaster university GCRF seed corn funding. It was useful in terms of identifying and informing the potential stakeholders in the field about the project as a strategy of dissemination. The workshop bridged research and practice, enabled participants to discuss how the photovoice methodology can be designed in a way to inform their practice and gave us (the researchers) practice-based insight from practitioners. This engagement and dissemination event helped us go beyond the academia with potentials of affecting the decision parameters of decision-makers on use of arts in refugee-crisis.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Exhibitions in South Africa, Turkey, Uganda and the UK 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact As a team, we organised four exhibitions. The exhibitions respectively took place in South Africa (September 2019), Uganda (August 2019), Turkey (October, 2019) and the UK (November, 2019). The UK exhibition was not part of the project. The PI Cin has secured additional funding from the ESRC FoSS and organised an exhibition at Lancaster Museum. The exhibitions were well attended with high profile guests. Turkish Ambassador and the UK Deputy High Commissioner attended the launch of exhibition in South Africa; The representatives and policymakers from Istanbul Municipality and Istanbul Governorship attended the exhibition in Istanbul and Mayor of Lancaster also visited the exhibition on the first day of the event at Lancaster Museum. In total, more than 2500 people have attended the exhibitions (UK exhibition received more than 500 guests and Turkey exhibition received more than 1000 people).

The exhibitions were successfully covered by the media. The exhibition in Istanbul has taken place in mainstream Turkish press media. The PI Cin has been featured in a BBC 4 Lancashire interview to talk about the project and Lancaster Museum exhibition.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/sirkethaberleri/egitim/multeci-genclerin-fotograflari-istanbulda-sergilenec...