Tag: walking

Methods on the Move: experiencing and imagining borders, risk, and belonging

The subjective realities of migrants are at the centre of Maggie O’Neill’s approach which is articulated through the practice of walking. As part of her Leverhulme Research Fellowship with a specific focus on borders, risk and belonging, the project aims to explore migrants’ journeys, mapping out their pathways to becoming long-term residents of the area. In this project, walking is a platform for sensing the surrounding environment and being in touch with personal emotions and memories. The performative act of walking in space and time is relational and plays a role in the definition of belonging to a place, which is particularly important in the definition of migrants’ identities. Walking is a useful methodology when studying borders, risk, and belonging, as it can involve physically crossing borders, going into areas perceived as ‘risky,’ or, literally walking on a border. The project makes use of participatory action research (PAR) and arts practice (ethno-mimesis) when investigating the sense of belonging negotiated by migrants. Arts practice can include performance and public displays such as maps, whilst ethno-mimesis focuses on imitating the representations of the reality of migrants. The intention of the research is to produce a web resource including maps from the walks, images and sound files.

Researcher: Maggie O’Neill (University of York)

PASAR: Participatory Arts and Social Action Research

Funded by National Centre for Research Methods/ Economic and Social Research Council, UK, this 2015-2016 research project addresses the UK social science community’s need to gain a better understanding of how participatory action research approaches engage marginalized groups in research as co-producers of knowledge. Funded by the National Centre for Research Methods/ Economic and Social Research Council, it combines walking methods and participatory theater to create a space for exploring, sharing and documenting processes of belonging and place-making that are crucial to understanding and enacting citizenship. Participatory Action Research, based on the principles of inclusion, valuing all voices and action-oriented interventions allows for engaging marginalized groups into research as a citizenship practice. The project creates a model for bringing together practitioners and marginalized groups to engage with each other through creative methods and innovates by developing a toolkit for training social researchers in participatory methods, specifically walking stories and theatre.

PI: Umut Erel, The Open University; CIs: Tracey Reynolds, University of Greenwich, Maggie O’Neill, University of York; Research Fellow: Erene Kaptani, The Open University