The Hero’s Journey: An art-based method in social design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The Hero’s Journey is an embodied game activity based on the monomyth of Joseph Campbell (1949). This participatory art-based activity served as a research instrument in a development context in southern Africa with marginalised San youth. One of the outcomes of employing this art-based activity in research was the development of the GRACE model which encompasses grass-root participation, art, creativity, embodiment, expression and empowerment. This paper asks how participatory and art-based methods enable the dialogical and solution orientated GRACE model to function in development work within marginalised communities. The paper discusses how improvisation facilitates power distribution when participatory art-based methods are applied. Improvisation permits continuous negotiation processes with stakeholders, thus enabling communities to participate in development activities in power sensitive settings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Art of Research 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoEC publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication

Field of science

  • Visual arts and design


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