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RAI Film Festival Conference 2023

Workshop: Co-creation of creative and visual practice research with indigenous and local communities

27 March 2023

Several of the Hub’s Early Career Researchers led and took part in a workshop during the RAI Film Festival Conference 2023. The Royal Anthropological Institute (RAI) Film Festival is designed to bring together a diverse programme of workshops, masterclasses, and events centred around storytelling, promoting social justice and dialogue, and creating spaces for shared learning.

The overall theme of this year’s conference was Visual Anthropology and Speculative Futures, and in response to this, four Hub researchers (Diana Ruiz, Rachael Maysels, Yady Tatiana Solano Correa, and Helen Underhill) proposed and convened a workshop panel entitled Water Security, Climate Crisis, and Environmental Futures: Co-creation of creative and visual practice research with Indigenous and Peasant communities.

The workshop was designed to facilitate thinking about creative research methods which emerge from community-led problem identification, in order to foster more participatory approaches. The workshop welcomed participants from across the Hub Collaboratories, with the convening team from Colombia and the UK joined by Jannah Tajuddin representing Malaysia, Endaweke Assegide from Ethiopia, and Beenish Mushtaq, Radhika Modi, and Shambhavi Gupta representing India.

Helen: “Over the two-hour session we discussed the diverse ways in which we initiate work with communities and other actors (including the complexities of researching with institutional actors or governmental representatives), how we involve communities in our research (including how to foster ethical engagement and build trust), and how we plan for the realities encountered in the research process (from practicalities such as weather and travel difficulties to remote regions, through to changes in government or local officials that can cause major setbacks to research). 

The session resulted in a rich and enjoyable discussion on how to be ethical and intentional in setting up research relationships with communities, whilst outlining realistic impacts that our research might have - making sure that this contributes to the sense of trust that is essential for long-term engagement. We hope to take this forward by collaborating on the creation of community engagement training materials for the Hub’s RMGC platform.”

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