Photography as a socially engaged arts intervention for peacebuilding
The Perspectives in IR research seminar series in the International Relations and Politics programme at LJMU are pleased to invite Dr. Melis Cin, (Lancaster University, UK) to talk about her project exploring how the escalating tensions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries between young refugees and host communities can be addressed through use of photography to understand the everyday inequalities in shared public spaces in South Africa, Turkey and Uganda. It aims to bring these two communities to explore, unpack and contextualise the concept of peace. At a time when FDP (forcefully displaced population) is on the rise, these three countries are among the largest refugee-receiving and hosting countries. Each provides a unique context for cross-contextual opportunities to explore inequalities faced, and peace-building initiatives tried.
Considering the profile of the refugees each country hosts, the research employs photovoice and its accompanying use of storytelling as an informal learning opportunity of learning to live together, to engage with, and involve young people as researchers in giving them a political voice to the inequalities and meanings of peace. This collective experience showed that both communities have 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 peace and peaceful coexistence. These photographs (and the stories behind each photo) gave them a ‘political voice’ which could be used to integrate refugees and host communities into formal processes of peace-making, but raised further questions about the ‘coloniality’ of peace and arts.
If you want to attend the seminar, please reply to the Programme leader of the IR and Politics programme, Dr. Matthew Alan Hill (firstname.lastname@example.org).