Changing the Story launches at Leeds International Film Festival (13-15 November 2017) the interdisciplinary, international research team met to share stories and aspirations for the project and to develop the first phase of activity. ‘Voicing Hidden Histories’: a two day conference on Participatory Arts, International Development and Activist Film-making. The team also explored a range of conceptual, ethical and intellectual questions regarding the wider issues of peace, reconciliation, and youth-centred civil society building.
Second network meeting saw colleagues from Kosovo, Colombia, Rwanda, Cambodia and the UK meet in South Africa (21-22 May 2018). The workshop looked at the usefulness (or otherwise) of arts and heritage interventions with young people to confront traumatic pasts.
Two-day conference (21-22 September 2018) looked at the use of participatory art forms in conflict/post conflict settings to explore how these practices could be used to explore storytelling and performance in contexts when there are often public and hidden narratives.
3-day workshop (March 2019) ‘Learning from the Past With and For Young People: Intergenerational Dialogue, Education, and Memory after Genocide’ in Phnom Penh. The ‘ACT-Workshop’ in Pristina (April 2019) brought together Kosovan artists, students and young researchers. The team experimented with new, critical art-based explorations of the past through lyrics, sound and space of rock music heritage – resulting in an exhibition and the Zine Boom book.
In Zimbabwe a 5-day street art workshop (August 2019) led to the work being exhibited at the National Art Gallery (in Bulawayo) and the National Museum (in Harare).
CTS successfully applied for additional funding for a programme of Safeguarding co-created workshops to be delivered across the network, its aim to better tailor safeguarding policies developed by UK development agencies and policy makers to global contexts.
In the summer of 2019, 6 grants were awarded of up to £100k to interdisciplinary teams led by researchers at any stage in their career working across 7 countries: Kosovo, Rwanda, Cambodia, Malaysia, South Africa, India and Colombia.
In September 2019 £300k of grants were distributed in Phase 2 grants.
The 3er Encuentro de Estudios Críticos de las Transiciones (Third Meeting of Critical Studies of Transitions) took place (4-5 September 2019) in Bogotá, Colombia. This conference, ‘La paz en pequeña escala (Peace in a small scale)’ was supported in part by Changing the Story and included an overview of the work that Prof. Castillejo-Cuéllar and his Changing the Story colleague Dr. Simon Dancey have been carrying out in Colombia, as well as affording an opportunity for our Co-Investigators to hold a network meeting.
Launch of the Mobility Fund (September 2019) which offered financial support to enhance the mobility and professional development of CTS grantees (researchers, practitioners and youth participants/collaborators). This provided opportunities for young people involved in our projects to share their research outputs with new audiences and forge partnerships with other local change makers.
2020 was intended to see phase 3 – the project dissemination phase. The global pandemic forced a major review of the way we approached and undertook research. Projects quickly adjusted, finding new ways to deliver activities, and provide projects with equipment and data in order to be able to work online. The network meetings moved online, allowing more frequent conversations about our work.
‘Changing the Story Online International Film Festival’ (1-5 June 2020) featuring films and animations that have been produced by CTS projects and the wider AHRC-GCRF research community.
Changing the Story and Oxfam welcomed practitioners, researchers, youth and colleagues to an online discussion (3 March 2021) on how national and international NGOs can engage in creativity, connection and collective creation with young people. Colleagues drew-upon their experience of arts-based research and knowledge of the arts and culture in the Cambodian context.
‘Creative Expression Among Young Cambodians Virtual Workshop’ (27-28 May 2021) led by Dr. Amanda ROGERS and YEAN Reaksmey and Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) this virtual workshop shared the key findings from the Contemporary Arts Making and Creative Expression among Young Cambodians research project and explored some of the strategic questions emerging from the research.
‘Changing the Story Festival: InSide Out & OutSide In’ (14-18 June 2021) was a hybrid event that took place in Kosovo and online. It saw the launch of the artwork installation “The Square of Untruth” and included reports from CTS projects including Respace, CoLearnSEE and The Making of the Museum of Education and the launch of the CoLearnSEE regional educational policy paper.
PRAXIS, in partnership with Changing the Story, held a two-part workshop (July 2021) on gender stereotypes to support awareness and critical self-reflection. Young people from across the Changing the Story network took part in a series of discussions guided by questions about gender stereotypes, challenges, norms and assumptions in their lives.
Changing the Story hosted a week-long work placement (September 2021) for a young person through the Arts Emergency Work Placement programme. Rachel engaged with the Changing the Story and PRAXIS team, and the wider network of researchers and young artists and encouraged Rachel to share her reflections in a creative output of her choice (poem).
‘Changemakers in Film Summit’ (July 2021) was a youth event curated by Jacqueline Adjei and a panel of film directors from across the CTS network discussing the perspectives and issues explored in their films. Talking about the process, Jacqueline said I went through the CTS archive to find films that particularly resonate with my perspective on the key issues facing young people today.
CTS and PRAXIS were delighted to support the Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26) (November 2021) with three #COP26 Resilience Hub events. ‘The Critical Role of Arts, Culture, and Heritage in Building Food and Agricultural Resilience’, ‘Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Resilience’ and ‘Exploring the potential for arts, culture, heritage to tackle gender and diversity in climate resilience and adaptation’.
CTS Youth Research Board’s creative campaigns for change were launched (9 December 2021).
CTS Skills Exchange (14 March – 4 April 2022) sought to give young people involved in Changing the Story (CTS) and Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) projects an opportunity to develop skills that would be useful to them as young change-makers. The topics, identified by the young people, included photographs, documentaries, visual art, graphic design and social media and social entrepreneurship.