Using Art to Tell Stories and Build Safe Spaces: Transforming Academic Research Into Action

This paper explores how art can be used to tell stories and actively build safe spaces, and grew out of reflections from a capacity-building and knowledge translation/mobilization project involving 7 young people living on the streets. The paper considers how research can contribute to an examination of anti-oppressive practice and methodology, and an application of it in the field through an arts-based agenda. Conceptually, the paper takes up the postmodern turn in methodological considerations by exploring how the “spectacle” of a research agenda can come to be undone by a more participatory research process. This paper speaks to the processes involved in creating an arts-based environment and, ultimately, the building of a community space for sharing, for reflection, and for mobilization—storytelling not only as a form of art, but as a critical methodology.

Publication Date: 
In Press
Journal Name: 
Canadian Journal of Community Mental Health