The second phase of the research is grounded in co-produced case study analysis, which explores the question: what are the distinctive strategies and practices of Arts for Reconciliation (AfR)? We are undertaking six case studies of AfR projects: four retrospective studies, and two prospective, durational projects. The case studies have been selected to ensure they are reflective of the findings identified in the first phase of the research, for example being varied by art form, partnership structure, design and method.
Phase 2: In moving beyond Phase 1 and its concern with funding and outcome, the second phase will position how creative and expressive processes can be used not only as a response mechanism to conflict but as a vessel for conflict amelioration and relational change. This more grounded case study approach will tease out how art is deployed as a distinctive medium to respond to the emotions, symptoms and experience of harm, transgression and conflict experience, using a range of methods.
The following methods were mentioned in the application: Performance ethnography, participant observation, focus groups, videographic methods, interviews.
This combination of methods will bring to light not only the experiential impressions of individuals involved in AfR, but also what is occurring ‘on the ground’ during, and as a result of, the practice itself, building on the AHRC Cultural Value Project reports recognition of the potential of arts-based and hermeneutic research methodologies to “enable access to forms of knowledge and awareness that are difficult […] to articulate in words”. We will thus reveal how conflict transformation strategies have been conceived and practised and the understanding of them by practitioners, audiences and community participants.”