PAD – Participatory Development through Art Conference
Faculty of Art and Design
University of Lapland
15–17 August 2018
KEYNOTE SPEAKERS – Deborah Simmons, Pauliina Feodoroff and Satu Miettinen
The growing relevance of participatory development has been recently manifested in many fields, especially in development studies and arts, but also in Indigenous studies, social sciences and humanities more generally. This participatory turn, which places significant emphasis on the role of communities in determining their own development priorities and designing solutions that address their needs and interests, has taken place simultaneously and in parallel with the growing popularity of art-based research methods. They have also become intertwined in many different ways.
Participatory development is an approach that places community-based development initiatives at the heart of development. This approach requires open and inclusive dialogue, as well as various forms of consensus building as the responsibility of implementation of development solutions lies with the participants. The methodologies used in participatory development are diverse and continually evolving. Some methods and practices have also attracted criticism, and calls for more democratic and communal forms of participatory development have been made in various contexts. Increasingly more attention is paid to the questions of power, legitimacy and justice, as well as the politics and intersections of gender, sexuality, race and class.
Participatory development centralizes not only the needs and interests of research participants but also their experiences. Experiences are not considered a separate sphere of subjective reality from an external, objective world but rather as something that enables humans to engage with their world. In this way, participatory development comes close to various art-based and Indigenous research methodologies, which are steered by a moral commitment to the participating communities. In art-based research processes, art making is understood as a democratic activity accessible to its makers, but also to the audiences and researchers who are able to engage in the work and form new relations to it.
In an effort to explore the above-mentioned and related themes in depth from different perspectives across the disciplines, the PAD conference seeks to bring together researchers and practitioners engaged in participatory development in Indigenous and other communities. The conference is targeted at researchers working on Indigenous issues, practitioners from the field of Indigenous participatory development, Indigenous leaders and community members, Indigenous artists and representatives from Indigenous organizations. Practitioners and scholars also from fields such as development studies, social sciences, gender studies, education, community services, participatory design, art-based research, service design, visual and performing arts are encouraged to participate.
The PAD conference aims at sharing and voicing of a variety of experiences and positions, including the personal and subjective. It envisages the sharing of art-related practices and research methods with other fields of enquiry and practice. The mission of the conference is to serve as a development platform that enables the sharing of best practices and stimulates collaboration and networking amongst different communities. We welcome papers and workshops that explore, but are not limited to, the following themes:
• Art as a tool for participatory development, dialogue and empowerment
• Participatory development with Indigenous people
• Practices of maintaining cultural heritage
• Indigenous art and activism
• Research ethics and decolonizing methodologies
Please submit your abstract (max 300 words) together with a short bio (max 200 words) online by 20 April 2018.
Selected papers will be considered for publication in a Special Issue on Participatory Development through Art to be offered to a peer-reviewed international journal.
The conference is free of charge (no participation fee) but the participants have to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.