Changing the Story Publications

Check out a range of working papers and critical reviews, as well as our latest annual report in this section that features our growing bank of Changing the Story produced resources.

This article authored by Aylwyn Walsh and Scott Burnett considers youth co-production in the context of the Changing the Story phase 1 project Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba. The participatory project conceives of ‘voice' as research data, turn of phrase, and character by engaging with the work produced by South African co-creator collective Ilizwi Lenyaniso Lomhlaba, who contribute to voicing issues related to land, stewardship and futures. Developing Linda Tuhiwai Smith's five dimensions of decolonial theorisation, the article considers ‘voice' as a complex and dynamic formulation including regimes of power: funding, legacies of dispossession and ongoing marginalisation and highlighting the achievements of young people’s formulation of the stories of their world.
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Youth, Voice and Development is a Leeds University-based programme that asks: ‘What works for putting young people at the heart of research that contributes to positive change?’ Phase One, in 2020, was a collaboration between Changing the Story and the British Council which aimed to map connections and synergies between the youth-focused work of both and to enable mutual learning. The brief outlines the key findings and policy recommendations from phase one.
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Youth, Voice and Development is a Leeds University-based programme that asks: ‘What works for putting young people at the heart of research that contributes to positive change?’ Phase One, in 2020, was a collaboration between Changing the Story and the British Council which aimed to map connections and synergies between the youth-focused work of both and to enable mutual learning. This report outlines findings and key messages from phase one.
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Edited by Ioannis Armakolas, Agon Demjaha, Arolda Elbasani and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers, the volume is the follow up of the successful earlier collection focusing on some of the most pressing and challenging domestic and foreign policy questions facing Kosovo.
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Edited by Prof Tim Prentki and Prof Amanda Breed, The Routledge Companion to Applied Performance provides an in-depth, far-reaching and provocative consideration of how scholars and artists negotiate the theoretical, historical and practical politics of applied performance, both in the academy and beyond.
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Street Art to Promote Representation and Epistemic Justice among Marginalized Rural Zimbabwean Youth sought to generate democratic space by giving the Binga youth an opportunity to tell the stories they value using graffiti art which was later displayed in exhibitions across Zimbabwe. The following Book of Art showcases the graffiti art created by the Binga youth and the process and idea behind each piece.
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Graffiti as a Participatory Method Fostering Epistemic Justice and Collective Capabilities among Rural Youth: A case study in Zimbabwe is a chapter by Tendayi Marovah and Faith Mkwananzi in the edited book Participatory Research, Capabilities and Epistemic Justice: A Transformative Agenda for Higher Education. The chapters illustrate how epistemic capabilities can be marginalised by both institutions and structural and historical factors; as well as the potential for possibilities when spaces are opened for genuine participation and designed for a plurality of voices.
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In this collaborative text, ImaginingOtherwise draw out the key social justice concerns faced by young people in South Africa, setting them against the learning from the arts-based project. Moving beyond the framing of the context of race, violence and dispossession, ImaginingOtherwise explore how these critical ideas move towards a useful set of tools for arts education. We do this in the format of a glossary; which we see as building a methodology of participation in the arts as radical possibility—and invitation towards ImaginingOtherwise.
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 Metodologías digitales participativas con jóvenes marginados (Espanol)
Si bien los métodos digitales han existido durante algún tiempo, la pandemia de COVID-19 ha requerido que proyectos en todo el mundo se muevan a la esfera digital y adapten sus enfoques en consecuencia. En el nuevo ¿Cuál es la verdad? En el informe del proyecto, el equipo del proyecto reflexiona sobre su aprendizaje en relación con la interacción digital con los jóvenes que han sido "marginados" (en términos de desigualdades estructurales y ubicaciones) y viven en contextos que se consideran "frágiles" debido a la violencia y el conflicto.
While digital methods have been around for some time, the COVID-19 pandemic has required projects around the world to move to the digital sphere and adapt their approaches accordingly. In the new ¿Cuál es la verdad? project briefing, the project team reflect on their learning in relation to engaging digitally with young people who have been ‘marginalised’ (in terms of structural inequalities and locations) and live in contexts that are considered ‘fragile’ due to violence and conflict.
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Social entrepreneurship: Methods of, and challenges in, catalysing positive social change by Andreana Drencheva and Martina Battisti is a chapter in the edited book Entrepreneurship: A Contemporary & Global Approach edited by David Deakins and Jonathan M. Scott (2020).
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Read how these creative minds and active souls are finding new ways to imagine alternative futures and bring them to life by owning who they are, speaking up, through storytelling and collective action including CTS Principal Investigators Nita Luci and Linda Guisa.
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Conducting Field Research Amid Violence: Experiences From Colombia is a chapter by Laura K. Taylor, Manuela Nilsson, Paola Forero and Maria Angelica Restrepo in the edited book Researching Peace, Conflict and Power in the Field. Conducting research in violent environments poses particular challenges for researchers and participants. The current chapter explores factors that influence field research in Colombia prior to and immediately following the peace accord in 2016, which formally ended the country’s 50-year conflict between the government and the country’s largest guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (after its Spanish abbreviation FARC).
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Epistemic justice and everyday nationalism: An auto‐ethnography of transnational student encounters in a post‐war memory and reconciliation project in Kosovo is a journal article by Nita Luci and Stephanie Schwandner-Sievers. This contribution explores how everyday nationalism, in often unexpected and hidden ways, underpinned a cocreational, educational project involving several local (Albanian) and international (British based) university students and staff collaborating on the theme of post‐war memory and reconciliation in Kosovo.
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Education as site of memory: developing a research agenda by Julia Paulson, Nelson Abiti, Julian Bermeo, Carlos Arturo Charria Hernández, Duong Keo,Peter Manning, Lizzi O. Milligan, Kate Moles,Catriona Pennell, Sangar Salih & Kelsey Shanks (2018). This article explores the possibilities opened when educative processes are not taken as stable and authoritative sites for transmitting historical narratives, but instead as spaces of contestation, negotiation and cultural production.
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Longing for Lost Normalcy: Social Memory, Transitional Justice, and the ‘House Museum’ to Missing Persons in Kosovo by Schwandner-Sievers, S. and Klinkner, M. In spring 1999, amidst a wider ethnic cleansing campaign, Serb police forces abducted Ferdonije Qerkezi’s husband and four sons, who were never to be seen alive again. She subsequently transformed her private house into a memorial to the lost normalcy of her entire social world. The authors trace this memorialization process; her struggle for recognition; her transformation into an iconic mother of the nation and her activism, both for missing persons and against the internationally-driven Serb-Albanian normalization process in Kosovo. From a multi-disciplinary perspective, the authors critically reflect on the theoretical concept of “normative divergence” in intervention studies.
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Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Foreign Policy Since Independence, edited by Hasić, Jasmin and Karabegović, Dženeta (2019). This book is the first to provide a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the foreign policy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a post-conflict country with an active agency in international affairs. Bridging academic and policy debates, the book summarizes and further examines the first twenty-five years of BiH’s foreign policy following the country’s independence from Yugoslavia in 1992.
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(Un)photographing Peace is a journal article written by CTS Principal Investigator Tiffany Fairey.
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Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP): Curriculum for music, dance and drama in Rwanda by A Breed, K Dennison, S Nzahabwanayo, K Pells - The Applied Theatre Reader, 2020. This chapter examines the use of interdisciplinary, arts-based approaches to peacebuilding through the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project in Rwanda funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund through an overarching project entitled Changing the Story: Building Inclusive Societies with and for Young People in Five Post-Conflict Countries.
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Introducción del editor invitado: la paz en pequeña escala, Alejandro Castillejo-Cuéllar (2019)
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Del ahogado el sombrero, a manera de manifiesto: esbozos para una crítica al discurso transicional. Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology. By Alejandro Castillejo Cuéllar, 2018.
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Inside-out and outside-in on dealing with the past in Kosovo by Nita Luci and Linda Guisa is a chapter in the edited book Unravelling Liberal Interventionism Local Critiques of Statebuilding in Kosovo edited by Gëzim Visoka and Vjosa Musliu. This edited volume gives local scholars a platform from which they critically examine different aspects of liberal interventionism and statebuilding in Kosovo
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Fragments on Heroes, Artists and Interventions: Challenging Gender Ideology and Provoking Active Citizenship through the Arts in Kosovo is a chapter in the edited book Cooke, P. and Soria-Dolan, I., eds. Participatory Arts in International Development. London: Routledge
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In 2019, Changing the Story (CTS) launched a Mobility Fund, offering financial support of up to £1000 designed to enhance the mobility and professional development of CTS grantees based in the 13 project countries (researchers, practitioners and youth partners). The fund has proven hugely popular, providing excellent networking, knowledge exchange and additional research dissemination opportunities, beyond what grantees originally envisaged at the project application stage. This reports captures some of the opportunities and experiences made possible by the fund, which remains open until June 2021.
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The research project is a collaboration between the University of Leeds and The Kohima Institute and aims to build the research capacity among indigenous young people in the region of Nagaland where there has been a curtailment of research into critical areas such as health.
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Connective Memories is a participatory arts research project on the topic of Isangizanyankuru (meaning shared stories and memories in Kinyarwanda), codesigned, co-delivered and evaluated by 10 young people and 6 adult facilitators in Rwanda, in collaboration with the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace and Uyisenga Ni Imanzi.
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Mapping Community Heritage (South Africa) is a collaboration between the University of Sheffield, South African grassroots Civil Society Organisation Pala Forerunners, the University of Pretoria (UP), and youth from rural communities bordering South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP). In the project, local young people interviewed the older generation to record their lived experiences. Discover the project highlights in this bite size case study.
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Youth-led social enterprises (Malaysia) investigates the lived experiences of young social entrepreneurs and how social enterprises contribute (positively and/or negatively) to civil society. Discover the project highlights in this bite size case study.
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Izazov is a Changing the Story Phase 2 ECR project which aims to build the capacity of young change-makers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) to further connect with youth civil society networks and to engage Bosnian youth in inclusive civil society activities. Discover the project highlights in this bite size case study.
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As we prepare the Changing the Story Year Two report, much of the activity feels like it belongs to a different time. Year Two of the project focussed on commissioning a broad array of projects, building on the findings of our first year and expanding our work into 13 post conflict countries.
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“Heritage for Global Challenges” (24-26 February 2020, West Bek’aa, Lebanon) was a three-day workshop organized by Praxis with the goal to champion the distinctive contribution that Arts and Humanities research can make to tackle urgent global development challenges, focusing on heritage, in particular. This Heritage for Global Challenges Lebanon Workshop Report by Francesca Giliberto features reflections on the contribution of heritage research to sustainable development and global challenges from 28 AHRC-GCRF Heritage projects, 3 Newton Projects and 9 external organisations including UNESCO, V&A Museum and the British Council.
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Working Paper #5 Curriculum for Music, Dance and Drama in Rwanda
This working paper examines the use of interdisciplinary arts-based approaches to peacebuilding through the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project in Rwanda. The authors of this essay will provide an overview of the project design and research methodologies of MAP; serving as a reflection of creative approaches in conflict transformation processes to strengthen individual and community-level tolerance for paradox and ambiguity. This reflection process is being used to inform our knowledge and understanding of how MAP might contribute to the subject of Music, Dance and Drama in the National Curriculum Framework of Rwanda.
Written by Alejandro Castillejo Cuellar and investigators Alex Sierra and Juanita Frankey, the following critical review of the Phase 1 Colombia project Tales of the Future: Senses, Creativity and the Arts of Survival in Colombia discusses the need to put forward itinerant methodological proposals centring on testimonial experiences as means of articulating possible futures.
Arts of Survival (Colombia) Critical Review
Written by Alejandro Castillejo Cuellar and investigators Alex Sierra and Juanita Frankey, the following critical review of the Phase 1 Colombia project Tales of the Future: Senses, Creativity and the Arts of Survival in Colombia discusses the need to put forward itinerant methodological proposals centring on testimonial experiences as means of articulating possible futures.
Arts of Survival (Colombia) Critical Review
Cultural Heritage: A Challenge for Europe Publication featuring CTS
Changing the Story is featured in the latest publication by Cultural Heritage: A Challenge for Europe, a publication about the role of cultural heritage in building national identity in post conflict situations. The publication follows a conference in Warsaw (10-12 September) organised by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Rebuplic of Poland, the National Institute for Museums and Public Collections, in cooperation with Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau, Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and Stuttof Museum, attending by Changing the Story Principal Investigator Paul Cooke.
Phase One Critical Review: The Future is Unwritten (Colombia)
Written by Dr Simon Dancey and Emily Morrison this critical review of the Phase One Colombia project explores what is known about social imaginaries in Colombia in existing literature and how the imaginary affects the practical projects of those working through culture to achieve social and cultural aims (with a focus on young people), analysed through the voices of an investigation interviewing cultural actors from across Colombia.
Written by Lura Pollozhani and Hajrulla Çeku, this critical review of the Phase One Kosovo project ACT: Arts, Critical Thinking and Active Citizenship will explore the overarching research questions: how does formal and informal civic education affect youth engagement and active citizenship in Kosovo, and does art activism among youth promote more critical levels of engagement?
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Phase One Critical Review: Mobile Arts for Peace (Rwanda)
As part of Changing the Story's Phase One Activities is Rwanda this critical review and project reflection maps out the work of the project taking place in both public and private spaces in relation to the use of art in fostering peacebuilding in post-genocide Rwanda. The aim of the critical review is to record convergences, synergies and challenges within the Mobile Arts for Peace project (MAP). The critical review is comprised of a youth report, teachers report and an artist report and outlines the methodologies used, as well as the influence and impact of the project on each group.
As part of Changing the Story’s Phase One activities in Cambodia, this critical review and project reflection explores the use of arts within attempts to redress and remember experiences of the Khmer Rouge, with a particular focus on the varying participatory and educational methods employed therein. We necessarily and deliberately employ a broad definition of ‘participation’ in order to sensitise readers to the variety of ways participation has been integrated and mobilised in the work of both state and civil society led initiatives. The critical review then turns to reflect on the work of Changing the Story through our collaboration with the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). Specifically, we seek to draw lessons from the introduction of participatory filmmaking approaches to DC-Cam’s Anlong Veng Peace Tours initiatives from April to December 2018.
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Changing the Story 17/18: A Year in Review
It's been an extraordinary first 12 months for Changing the Story. Read our first published annual report for a closer look at our achievements across and beyond our 5 Phase 1 projects.
Event Report: Learning from the Past With and For Young People
In March 2019, 90 people from 16 countries around the world came together in Phnomh Penh, Cambodia for a three-day international workshop “Learning from the past with and for young people: Intergenerational dialogue, education, and memory after genocide”. The following report written by PhD candidate Katie Hodginson, describes, evaluates and outlines the key insights from the workshop.
In March 2018, Prof Chaya Herman, Dr Charity Meki-Kombe and Prof Stuart Taberner conducted a critical evaluation and review of Changing the Story Phase 1 project 'The Change-makers.' The report comprises of three sections: The context around The Change-makers programme, a critical evaluation and review report, and finally, the Change-makers programme roll out through 'train the trainer' workshops report, providing an in-depth and fascinating insight into, and evaluation of, one of Changing the Story's original projects.
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Working Paper #4: Mobilising Histories: Dark pasts - brighter futures?
"Dark pasts – brighter futures? Mobilising histories of discrimination, persecution and genocide to make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals". The legacy of traumatic pasts – including internal displacement, war and genocide – is one of the most serious obstacles to development in post-conflict states. The Mobilising Histories workshop, which was organised by the University of Leeds and the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation, and supported through the UK Global Challenges Research Fund, brought together academics and practitioners (from NGOs and civil society organisations), to learn from each other, and share their experience of devising arts interventions that mobilise ‘dark pasts’ to promote social justice agendas.
"Arts-based research practices and alternatives: Reflections on workshops in Uganda and Bangladesh" by Ruth Kelly and Emilie Flower. "In July 2017, two groups of academics, artists and activists held research workshops in Kampala and in Dhaka to explore how art could help us imagine and inhabit new ways of being, feeling and knowing, opening space to begin to articulate alternatives. We worked from the premise that imagination is not just something we have; it's something we generate together, through shared experiences, languages and ideas; through image, stories, dance, and music. Tapping into the rich cultural and artistic heritage of the places we come from, participants used art to experience the world differently and to dream up visions of a more just and sustainable world. [...] In this working paper, we (Emilie Flower and Ruth Kelly) situate, describe and reflect on the two three-day workshops in Kampala, Uganda and Dhaka Bangladesh. We explore whether and how arts-based research practices can disrupt dominant ways of knowing and performing ‘development,’ allowing activists and practitioners to explore different ways of knowing and to identify and articulate alternatives".
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"Mobilising the Past to Support Human Rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals" This literature review, authored by Emma Parker (University of Leeds) has been compiled as part of the AHRC-funded project, ‘Mobilising Multidirectional Memory to Build more Resilient Communities in South Africa’ (Taberner and Boswell, 2017). It offers a selective annotated bibliography of scholarship, projects and literature examining how memories of dark pasts intersect with both the arts and international development goals. With a particular focus on recent developments in memory studies, it includes discussions of literature and human rights, film, photography, the performing arts, heritage sites and digital memory. While being by no means extensive, it reflects some of the current research in these intersecting areas, demonstrating how efforts to understand difficult or traumatic pasts may be mobilised to shape better futures.
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As a starting point for the work Prof. Paul Cooke will be doing on the network, along with at least some of the other colleagues involved, we are working on the first of a series of ‘#ChangingTheStory working papers’ on the website that explores the relationship of participatory art within the context of development. This first paper, entitled " 'Post-Participatory' Arts for the 'Post-Development' Era" is co-authored with our project manager Inés Soria-Turner, and is aimed at framing a set of papers which will appear as the result of the initial work that was undertook during an international seminar in Leeds in February 2017 and subsequently during a series of participatory video projects in South Africa, Brazil and India as part of the University of Leeds' previous GCRF grant 'Voicing Hidden Histories: Troubling the National Brand'. Image credit: Members of the young women's filming group in Codó, Maranhão taking a break from filming as part of the Brazilian strand of 'Voicing Hidden Histories'.
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