Belonging and Learning:

Using co-produced arts methodologies to explore youth participation in contexts of conflict in Kenya, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Project Team: Artists Charity Atukunda (Uganda), Faustin Muliri Miruhu (DRC) and Mike Wamaya (Kenya) are working with: Su Corcoran and Kate Pahl, Manchester Metropolitan; Virginie Tallio, Makerere University; and Thomas D'Aquin Rubumbura, PEDER
January 2019 - December 2019

Young people are rarely involved in decision-making processes in relation to their displacement and life experiences, which tend to take place through adult-oriented modes of communication. Traditional consultation processes do not always enable young people to truly articulate the complexity of their conflict, flight and loss on their own terms.

The network will introduce a new dimension to work that has traditionally taken a social science-oriented approach focusing on experimental and quantitative research. Our work will challenge this hierarchy by drawing on arts methodologies to explore how the proposed boundary crossing collaboration can privilege and learn from knowledge that is drawn from young people’s experience.

Each networking meeting approaches a different topic enabling all participants to contribute through the performance art chosen for the session – through group making activities that encourage the participants to attune, listen and debate with each other.

This networking project aims to hold three meetings that will bring together displaced young people (street-connected young people, refugees and/or internally displaced) and the stakeholders who work with them, along with policy makers, to explore the potential of the arts to explore these questions:

  1. How can pedagogies with street children/refugees be developed from arts methodologies?
  2. How can young people’s knowledge production practices inform research and policy?
  3. What is the contribution of co-produced arts methodologies to understandings of educational practices?

In Kenya, Su Corcoran will collaborate with Mike Wamaya, an award winning ballet teacher, to facilitate the coproduction of a dance about street-connected young people's experiences of education.

The Uganda meeting, which will explore education provision for refugees, will be organised by Dr Virginie Tallio from Makerere University and illustrator Charity Atukunda.

In DRC, Thomas D'Aquin Rubambura, Deputy Coordinator of PEDER, will collaborate with Faustin Muliri Miruhu, a poet and playwright, to organise a workshop with street-connected young people who have been displaced by ongoing conflict in the country.

The artists have strong relationships with the project team bringing a history of working in those areas to offer access to experiential artistic knowledge embedded and located within local communities. Through this process, young people will co-author outputs and publications that describe their experiences to policy-makers ensuring their voices are heard.

The project has been awarded a Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Networking grant through the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) for the project.

Our Research