Making Communities

Julie Parsons

Making Communities: An Exploration of Community Building and Collaborative Approaches to Re/integration After Punishment

Small Group Project 2021

This proposal is to run a three-day workshop that brings together colleagues from the Universities of Plymouth, Glasgow, and Cambridge, as well as three organizations that work alongside criminalized individuals, in prison and/or the community 1. Vox Liminis, 2. LandWorks and 3. Learning Together. These three organizations have utilized a range of approaches when working alongside criminalized people and are commitment to supporting them in their desistance journeys, facilitating change in the perceptions of ‘offenders’ in the wider community and challenging their continued stigma and marginalisaiton. The main aim of the workshop is to explore the ways in which academic work, arts and activism can come together through generative or ‘making’ practices. The workshop draws on a model of engaged social science that creatively combines research, knowledge exchange and practice development. The focus is on community building through organizations that use novel methods of inquiry and a variety of making and learning activities to support successful re/integration into the community after punishment. Specifically, the workshop will facilitate inquiry into the affective and emotional aspects of building and sustaining the three communities as represented by Vox Liminis, LandWorks and Learning Together. Mirroring the processes used in these communities, we will use creative practices to process and represent our own experiences in order to facilitate learning and change. In particular, we will use the ‘Vox Session’ methodology pioneered in the Distant Voices project (McNeill and Urie, 2020; Urie et al, 2019) to explore our experiences through carefully facilitated, collaborative song-writing. Vox sessions provide a space for an affective engagement with the self and others in a creative practice of meaning-making. We will summarize our learning (both in creative and in conventional outputs) and examine how we might engage others in community projects in the interests of criminal/social justice and public engagement.

Contacting Fellows

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