Embracing curiosity and connectedness : Community centre art projects and emancipation in Johannesburg

Show full item record



Permalink

http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201706195104
Title: Embracing curiosity and connectedness : Community centre art projects and emancipation in Johannesburg
Author: Alin, Ella
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2017
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201706195104
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/193657
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Kehitysmaatutkimus
Development Studies
U-landsforskning
Abstract: This study discusses the importance of artistic practices and community arts centres for development understood as a process of social and individual emancipation. Specifically, the study looks at emancipation from the point of view of overcoming social and psychological hindrances to the autonomy of an individual. The empirical case under scrutiny is a community centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, its arts and crafts project (ACP) and one of its drama projects. The study asks, what is the role of the projects in project participants’ lives, and what kinds of spaces the projects are. Initially, I assumed that the role of the creative action taking place in the projects, as critical theory suggests, would be substantial for the participants, because of the “learning by doing” taking place in the projects, and because of bigger “ownership” of one’s own doing, when compared to, for example, school environments. The research material is derived from 18 interviews, observations, written products of the projects, and my field and research diaries, which compose the text for hermeneutic analysis. The research questions were developed and further answered through a hermeneutic process of dialogue with this text. The analysis results in new ‘facts’ that answer the research questions, as is the nature of results in hermeneutic studies. These facts, or, the findings, support the assumption about the importance of the method of learning by doing, and ownership of one’s doing, but turn the emphasis towards the social context of the projects. The projects had a great impact in the project participants’ lives in two intertwined spheres. These are: 1) sphere of learning, and 2) sphere of “feeling at home”. The projects enhanced the participants’ feeling of freedom. One of the main reasons for this was the non-discriminatory social environment of the projects, especially regarding non-discrimination based on socio-economic class. In the study, I argue that both projects contributed to the emancipation of their participants. The theoretical framework of development as emancipation, which is discussed with the empirical part of the study, is founded on the Freirean concept of humanisation, the capabilities approach as developed by Martha Nussbaum, and the idea of orienting towards objects formulated by Sara Ahmed. The study is an addition to the recent body of research on community arts centres in South Africa, conducted by South African researchers such as Gerard Hagg, Eben Lochner, Thamsanqa Mzaku, and Zanele Madiba.
Subject: community arts centre
emancipation
Johannesburg
youth
theatre
arts and crafts
learning
critical pedagogy
development
self-actualisation
humanisation


Files in this item

Total number of downloads: Loading...

Files Size Format View
Alin_Kehitysmaatutkimus.pdf 1.577Mb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record