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Over the last several years I have worked on a number of arts-based research projects. These projects participatory arts-based methods in the production of works that have relevance to social research, social engagement, and the advocacy of Sisonke.

At the African center for Migration and Society (ACMS) I worked in a team of researchers in a programme called the MoVE project (MoVE | method:visual:explore). My work at MoVE involved me directly in zine projects, quilting workshops, poster/sticker projects, and a newsletter project. I had a range of roles: from planning and conceptualisation, to facilitation, production, and writing. In support of the ACMS objective to showcase these projects to a public audience, I curated three exhibitions at the Workers Museum in Newtown, and I designed several publications to showcase work. Some of the projects took place in Johannesburg, and others were based in Nelspruit, Makhado or Musina.

This series of blog entries under the Migration and Health Project South Africa (maHpSA) present reflections relevant to my participation within MoVE at the ACMS. These reflections draw from my involvement in a range of research projects that used art processes and products as part of the inquiry.

The maHpSA aims to explore (and evaluate) ways to generate and communicate knowledge in order to improve responses to migration, health and well-being in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Multiple disciplinary perspectives, mixed method approaches, and the involvement of various stakeholders – including migrants themselves – are central.

My work with maHpSA has been varied. As a whole, the work experiences and conceptual production show a sensitivity to aspects of artistic thinking, arts-based research, participatory research, and arts-based education in their relationships to collaboration, social inquiry and engagement, advocacy, and problem-solving. Meaning-making based on site specific needs, and the politics of using artistic processes in participatory research projects have been core aspects of this work. This work is linked to my participation in past and ongoing research projects, and in some way to my own inquiry into spatial-relationships.

Much of my contribution to maHpSA has been in terms of co-conceptualisation, problem-solving, production, and in questioning research methodology. My ongoing artistic research project is titled Some Combinations. This project has had many iterations and tangential movements. There I consider the formation of cities, and the intricate relationship people have with these environments.

Notes from the blog

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