A sense of belonging - walking, place making and performative praxis
Social Sciences Loughborough University Loughborough, UK
Performance University College Falmouth Falmouth, Cornwall, UK
This paper elicits a dialogue between the walking arts practice of Misha Myers (www.wayfromhome.org) and the ethno-mimetic research of Maggie O'Neill (www.makingtheconnections.info). The paper discusses our respective research projects. O'Neill and Hubbard's (2008-9) AHRC funded research in the East Midlands which used Misha's walking arts practice and participatory action research and arts practice (ethno-mimesis) to explore experiences and processes of 'belonging' with four groups of migrants working in partnership with four community arts organisations; and Misha's practice based research project 'Homing Place' involving inhabitants of Plymouth, UK who are refugees and asylum seekers in participatory practices she refers to as 'conversive wayfinding'.
We focus attention on the ways that performative, and arts based methods can re-invigorate biographical methods and explore the tensions between research and art as methodology. We also discuss the way that performative methods offer strategies for challenging the dynamics of power that undermine or override the potential of equitable exchange in participatory methods.