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Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network Series: Reflecting on the Value of Participatory Research: Voice, Empowerment and Pathways to Impact
This talk critically explores the value and role of participatory/ activist research and how it can be used as a ‘tool’ to create pathways to historical justice. It draws on two empirical research projects. The first is a community-based ‘truth’ recovery project – the Ardoyne Commemoration Project. This is a bottom-up transitional justice project that addressed legacies of the conflict in one community in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The second is the survivor-driven Panel of Experts on Redress. The Panel spear-headed a redress campaign for survivors of historical institutional child abuse. The paper argues that power remains out of the hands of survivors and those tra­ditionally marginalized in society. The question this talk addresses is: what is the role of activist scholarship in challenging and/or rectifying this power imbalance? While conscious of the danger in over-eulogising activist research, it shows that spaces can be created to enable survivors to mobilise more effectively to challenge power and bring about social change. It examines how, and to what effect, participatory/ activist research facilitated voice, empowered, challenged powerful institutions, and created pathways to justice. If implemented rigorously, this type of research approach has transformative potential.

Dec 14, 2021 11:45 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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