Participatory Development Practices in Workshops

Essi Kuure, Daria Akimenko

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


Participatory development with communities of place is often undertaken in the format of short-term art- or design-led engagements, namely, workshops. Although this can allow for efficient data gathering and researcher’s familiarization with the context, these practices need to be approached critically and through community-centered angle. The main downside, or limitation, that receives criticism is the short duration of such interventions that does not necessarily result in a meaningful relationship between the researcher and the community, nor guarantees a long term impact of the encounter. Additionally, a workshop implemented without certain ethical considerations may be at risk of replicating some aspects of colonial practices (physical, material, social or other).
This presentation analyses two cases, in South Africa and South Australia, and discusses through them the possibilities that the arts-based way of doing workshops contributes to participatory development, as well as the limitations of such endeavors. The former case looks into a participatory design workshop done in Rosedale, South Africa with Indigenous youth, where making of posters and social sculpture built of them offered a tool for communication and being heard. The latter, talks about a workshop with Aboriginal female artists in Fowlers Bay, South Australia, where collective traditional weaving and felting processes served as sites of empathy building and cross-cultural knowledge transfer. The authors aim to answer the question: what constitutes an inclusive and sustainable workshop practice? Namely, they explore how arts-based methods and ways of seeing and doing can facilitate development of such workshop practices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoEC publication typeNot Eligible
EventPAD, Participatory Development through Art -conference 15.-17. elokuuta 2018 - Lapin yliopisto, taiteiden tiedekunta, Rovaniemi, Finland
Duration: 15 Aug 201817 Aug 2018


ConferencePAD, Participatory Development through Art -conference 15.-17. elokuuta 2018
Abbreviated titlePAD
Internet address

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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