Migrant Families Enacting Citizenship

Centre for Equality, Justice and Social Change, Zoom

13:30 - 14:30

You are invited to the Centre for Equality, Justice and Social Change's Research and Knowledge Exchange event on 30th March 2022, 1:30-2.30pm, which will take place over Zoom.

In this event, Prof. Umut Erel (Open University) will reflect on her research project using creative, participatory and performative methods in order to engage with migrant families with limited English and those marginalized from social citizenship through the No Recourse to Public Funds policy.

The research on which this paper draws combines walking methods and participatory theatre to create a space for exploring, sharing and documenting processes of belonging and place making that are crucial to understanding and 'enacting citizenship' (Isin 2012, Erel 2011). Drawing on work with three groups of migrant families in London, the paper discusses the potential of participatory theatre and walking methods to develop shared knowledges among participants and researchers.

The participatory theatre methods allow participants to act out scenes of conflicts, dilemmas and oppression, and reflect on the power relations and structures involved. Through dramatic scenes they try out interventions to change the course of events, thereby rehearsing for interventions and rights claiming in the social world. These processes of reflection and intervention allow participants and researchers to challenge exclusionary notions of citizenship.

The performative, embodied and affective character of participatory arts methods also enables a powerful engagement with policy makers and practitioners, thereby ensuring that the research participants' experience and views can intervene in debates beyond the research space. In this sense, these performative creative research methods can be seen as constituting a citizenship practice in their own right, bringing researchers and participants together in the creation of new shared knowledges and political subjectivities.

This event will be on Zoom, to register please click here