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This chapter explores artist-researcher collaborations in Co-Creation projects through a case study based in Tabajaras & Cabritos, a favela located in Rio de Janeiro’s South Zone that underwent police pacification in 2010 but has been experiencing ongoing security issues since 2017. The study focuses on a Co-Creation initiative designed in July-August 2019 by graffiti artist Leandro Rodrigues de Souza, aka Tick, in collaboration with local residents, stakeholders and researchers from the University of Bath. After an initial assessment of the models of favela and street art tourism, the participants of this workshop used Co-Creation strategies, discussions with local residents and stakeholders and participant observation on a series of favela and street art tours and graffiti painting events in favelas to support the artist’s initiative to create an ethical, community-based and sustainable street art tour. The analysis, carried out collaboratively by the artist and one of the researchers, addresses the roles and responsibilities of artists and researchers, their power relations and mutual benefits, as well as their respective contributions to both the research and the creative outputs.

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This chapter takes a comparative approach to two initiatives developed by artists and cultural promoters from the Global North and South, to challenge clichés attached to French banlieues and Brazilian favelas as places devoid of the production and consumption of literary texts. The ‘Dictée des Cités’, a spelling competition promoted since 2013 in French banlieues by writer Rachid Santaki, and the ‘Literary Festival of the Urban Periphery’ (FLUP) curated in Rio de Janeiro since 2012 by writers Julio Ludemir and Écio Salles, are analysed through the lens of Co-Creation as examples of artist-driven initiatives to encourage large local audiences’ engagement with literary texts, transform literary institutions and canons and challenge stereotypes associated with urban peripheries. While the chapter seeks to evaluate the potential of large-scale literary events to change the perception of disadvantaged urban areas, it also explores differences between the Global North and South. The chapter ends with the conclusion that socially engaged arts festivals and Co-Creation events may promote similar aims, they however differ in their scale, approaches to knowledge production as well as in their strategies promoting engagement with creative methods.

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This chapter seeks to test through a case study how transformative change resulting from Co-Creation can be evidenced and measured using a quasi experimental mixed-method approach. The first section focuses on the design of the case study, a poetry workshop aimed at students aged 14–17, initiated at a secondary school in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, by a group of researchers in collaboration with four poets, a street artist, a governmental organization belonging to the Mexican Ministry of Culture, the teachers and non-academic staff from a lower secondary school. The second section explains the design of the research methods and analyses changes in how workshop participants perceive their neighbourhood and themselves as agents of change in their school and wider community. The final section assesses the effectiveness of the both the Co-Creation workshop and the methodology used to measure its impact. Our final comments suggest that to be more efficient, the evaluation of Co-Creation workshops need to focus on both the intangible (knowledge, understanding, emotions) and the creative (poetry, painting) outcomes in ways that combine research methods from the North with strategies inspired by the epistemologies of the South.

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This chapter thinks through the possibilities and challenges posed by Co-Creation as a knowledge practice that is more than a ‘novel method’ for addressing urban inequality. We consider the onto-ethico-epistemological assumptions that underpin the ‘doing’ of co-creation as inventive practice. Drawing upon Barad (2007), Deleuze and Guattari (1987) and post-qualitative scholars (St Pierre, 2011), we ask what claims are made about participatory approaches in voicing issues of marginalisation? How are human and non-human relations recognised in creative collaborations? What role does affect play in the micropolitics of working with different desires, bodies, and techniques to effect change? New materialism offers a useful orientation to thinking through Co-Creation as a material-discursive process that has a rhizomatic, rather than linear form. Moving beyond humanist assumptions about individual creativity and essentialised identity categories, Co-Creation can be understood as a research assemblage that brings into relation objects, desires, bodies and contexts to disrupt, queer, reimagine and contest the normative (e.g. stigmatising of groups and places, and the invisibility of privileged perspectives). Using examples from our own and others’ work we explore the complex processes of Co-Creation projects, as they bring together artists, academics and communities in the face of urban inequality and marginalisation.

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This chapter looks at social transformation through the lens of ‘tough issues’. The perspective makes the vast challenges communities are faced with more practical, which in turns allows for progress in the right direction through small wins. Many citizen and community organisations with a background in environmental, peace and third world movements have roots in direct action. Over recent decades, they have been moving from opposing developments to proposing alternatives. We use the words of de Certeau (1984) to describe it as a shift from ‘résistance’ to ‘bricolage’. This shift has brought them closer to more institutionalised partners like government, business, civil society and research institutions. While this rapprochement has proven beneficial to each party involved – research methodologies such as Co-Creation prove that notions like horizontal decision-making, anti-authoritarianism and self-organisation are no longer the preoccupation of informal actors solely – the different stakeholders have not become interchangeable. The chapter argues for the role of a third actor in a social transformation process. This actor is not a stakeholder itself, but through a creative process (“prototyping” in the case of City Mine(d), arts creation in others) becomes tactically linked to the important stakeholders.

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This chapter draws on debates about the need for theory to ‘see from the South’ (Watson, 2009) to critically reflect on the increasingly global nature of co-creation both as a focus for research and for initiatives from governments around the world. It explores whether current understandings of co-creation narratives, which have tended to come from the Global North, can adequately characterise and understand the experience from the South, and the resulting need to decolonise knowledge and conduct research into the diverse ways in which co-creation can be constituted. It goes on to illustrate these debates by exploring the differing contexts for co-creation created by state-civil society relations in the project’s participating countries. These show that, while distinct contrasts emerge, it is important to move beyond dichotomies of north and south to explore the spaces of participation and resistance that are created within different contexts and how these are navigated by projects and communities engaged in co-creation. The chapter draws on material from interviews with local stakeholders and academics involved in the Co-Creation project and project conferences in Rio, Mexico City and Berlin.

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In the current context of neo-liberal policies, market deregulation and global flows, cities around the world have been faced with the increasingly complex challenges of fragmentation and marginalisation, while ideals of close-knit communities, belonging, and citizenship have become ever harder to sustain. To understand processes of marginalisation and resilience from a multiplicity of viewpoints, there has been a growing demand for inclusive ways of knowledge production, taking into account approaches advocated by the civil society sector and knowledges carried by communities which have been encapsulated in the term ‘epistemologies of the South’. This volume seeks to respond to this need by arguing that collaborations between scholars, activists, stakeholders and communities together with artists can be used as a springboard to strengthen resilience in vulnerable urban areas by taking into account different viewpoints expressed through creative practice. It proposes to employ ‘Co-Creation’, reconceptualised as an alternative way to produce knowledge by bringing together academics, activists and artists and involving them in generating shared understandings of neighbourhoods and wider injustices in the city, through commonly-created artistic outputs. The authors use a multi-disciplinary framework to explore the relevance and suitability of Co-Creation as a broadly applicable methodology to challenge marginalisation in various contexts, primarily in Western Europe and Latin America. This comparative approach provides opportunities to test Co-Creation in various contexts and to address different forms of marginalisation including ethnic, racial, social, postcolonial and generational inequalities, and to discuss these experiences in the light of international debates on cohesive cities and active citizenship.

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In the current context of neo-liberal policies, market deregulation and global flows, cities around the world have been faced with the increasingly complex challenges of fragmentation and marginalisation, while ideals of close-knit communities, belonging, and citizenship have become ever harder to sustain. To understand processes of marginalisation and resilience from a multiplicity of viewpoints, there has been a growing demand for inclusive ways of knowledge production, taking into account approaches advocated by the civil society sector and knowledges carried by communities which have been encapsulated in the term ‘epistemologies of the South’. This volume seeks to respond to this need by arguing that collaborations between scholars, activists, stakeholders and communities together with artists can be used as a springboard to strengthen resilience in vulnerable urban areas by taking into account different viewpoints expressed through creative practice. It proposes to employ ‘Co-Creation’, reconceptualised as an alternative way to produce knowledge by bringing together academics, activists and artists and involving them in generating shared understandings of neighbourhoods and wider injustices in the city, through commonly-created artistic outputs. The authors use a multi-disciplinary framework to explore the relevance and suitability of Co-Creation as a broadly applicable methodology to challenge marginalisation in various contexts, primarily in Western Europe and Latin America. This comparative approach provides opportunities to test Co-Creation in various contexts and to address different forms of marginalisation including ethnic, racial, social, postcolonial and generational inequalities, and to discuss these experiences in the light of international debates on cohesive cities and active citizenship.

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Exploring Creativity in the Global North and South

This innovative book provides a critical analysis of diverse experiences of Co-creation in neighbourhood settings across the Global North and Global South.

A unique collection of international researchers, artists and activists explore how creative, arts-based methods of community engagement can help tackle marginalisation and stigmatisation, whilst empowering communities to effect positive change towards more socially just cities.

Focusing on community collaboration, arts practice, and knowledge sharing, this book proposes various methods of Co-Creation for community engagement and assesses the effectiveness of different practices in highlighting, challenging, and reversing issues that most affect urban cohesion in contemporary cities.

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The aim of this chapter is to explore co-creation, as a participatory process that includes different actors and actions to have an impact on social cohesion in marginalised communities. The chapter relies on the experience of the Neighbourhood and Community Improvement Programme in Mexico City as an example of advocacy. It argues that given the important community benefits generated by advocacy, such as the development of social capital in marginalised communities in close collaboration with the State, advocacy actions cannot be dismissed since they constitute a very important participatory aspect of co-creative processes, in particular in Latin America.

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