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- Author or Editor: Kate Pahl x
- Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities x
This chapter aims to sketch out Rotherham as a remembered place, where people hold knowledge and experiences. Rotherham is also a place in the future. The chapter explores ways in which communities can be represented differently in an age of uncertainty and austerity. It focuses on creativity and the arts as a source of hope and a way of imagining better communities. This draws on the central purpose of the ‘Imagine’ project. As part of the ‘Imagine’ project, this chapter reveals a series of interlinked projects within Rotherham, exploring common everyday cultures, writing in the community, artistic images of Rotherham, and oral histories of Rotherham.
This chapter considers how arts and humanities approaches can offer a different lens which expands possibilities in terms of ways of knowing and ways of communicating. This process can then make space for different voices to come to the fore and can raise issues of power, meaning and ambiguity. The chapter considers the potential of co-production as a methodology to do this. In community contexts it might mean shifting attention away from preferred ways of knowing and being to unfamiliar ways of knowing and being for all involved. The chapter suggests that there is the potential for spatially situated methodologies to surface different kinds of knowledge. The chapter suggests that society needs to build new ways of knowing together. The chapter provides for example an experience of co-producing a film with the youth service and a group of young people in Rotherham for the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
Offering a critical examination of the nature of co-produced research, this important new book draws on materials and case studies from the ESRC funded project ‘Imagine – connecting communities through research’. Outlining a community development approach to co-production, which privileges community agency, the editors link with wider debates about the role of universities within communities. With policy makers in mind, contributors discuss in clear and accessible language what co-production between community groups and academics can achieve. The book will be valuable for practitioners within community contexts, and researchers interested in working with communities, activists, and artists.
This is a book that challenges contemporary images of ‘place’. Too often we are told about ‘deprived neighbourhoods’ but rarely do the people who live in those communities get to shape the agenda and describe, from their perspective, what is important to them. In this unique book the process of re-imagining comes to the fore in a fresh and contemporary look at one UK town, Rotherham.
Using history, artistic practice, writing, poetry, autobiography and collaborative ethnography, this book literally and figuratively re-imagines a place. It is a manifesto for alternative visions of community, located in histories and cultural reference points that often remain unheard within the mainstream media. As such, the book presents a ‘how to’ for researchers interested in community collaborative research and accessing alternative ways of knowing and voices in marginalised communities.
This chapter is a collaborative piece about doing collaborative ethnography. It primarily draws on the authors’ ethnography over many years in establishing and developing the field of collaborative ethnography through their published work. The chapter introduces collaborative ethnography as a methodology, but also describes the encounter that led to writing this book. In the Rotherham project, collaborative ethnography became a way of closing the distance between those who write about people and those who are written about. It made explicit the discussions and debates that happen when we learn together, but it also went further. As such, this chapter is a multi-voiced piece of writing, which begins with a discussion about the nature of research itself, and then moves on to describe the research encounter.
This chapter articulates an approach to knowing through art, in that we recognise the need for artists as individuals to intervene and change the world. It also argues that the process of making involves a process of change, and art includes a huge diversity of practice and a commitment to knowing together and making together. Art as knowing can be developed through conversations, walks, in moments of interaction that create spaces for more things to happen. Art is a process, and here we think about how things emerge — stuff comes from stuff: trying, helping, working, making, talking — new ideas come from doing.
This chapter draws on a conversation held in Rotherham central library café between the artist Zahir Rafiq, Kate Pahl, and Steve Pool. All of the quotations from Zahir in this chapter come from the transcript of this conversation. The chapter explores with Zahir Rafiq his lived experience of Rotherham, and how he has used art to create a space for conversations and for the articulation of experience. In doing so, this chapter asks the question, ‘What can art do?’ and in this process, it argues for the arts as a mode of enquiry as well as an articulation of experience.
This chapter turns to ‘the Rotherham project’, in which participants aged between 12 and 16 were involved in youth projects at Rotherham United Community Sports Trust. The project aimed to use photography as a means of exploring identity and to investigate themes related to the ethics of representation, informed by the participants’ first-hand experience of living in Rotherham. The young men explored the town on foot and by minibus, visiting the town centre, the surrounding countryside, and places of special interest, such as a local castle. During the photography sessions, the young men highlighted the things they liked about Rotherham, the challenges they found concerning, and their hopes for the future.
This chapter describes a project in which residents shared their visions for making themselves at home in Park Hill flats. The research team conducted a series of ‘events’ with residents, all aimed at exchanging views about the ways in which it was possible to live within the space. Architecturally, Park Hill offers a very different view of how architecture could be, and the socialist vision of the modernist Park Hill Estate in Sheffield was very much of its time. Now subject to urban re-development, we consider, with residents, the potential of Park Hill for a different kind of urban living, that embraces design as a mode of being.
This chapter offers a sense of the legacy of this book and identify its key features, in order to provide a summary of what the authors have learned from doing the book. The central goal in writing this book has been to demonstrate that communities produce their own forms of knowledge, and that those forms are valid — and valuable — ways of knowing. The chapter articulates the value of this kind of research for community knowledge production that is emergent, situated, and future oriented. As such, this chapter identifies four key themes: thinking across difference, the arts as a mode of inquiry and as an agent of change, rethinking knowledge production practices, and hope and the importance of transformational change. The chapter then reflects on these themes.