Using the arts to explore creative activism and development alternatives

Posted on 3 November 2016

Successful AHRC research network

CAHR and Politics are delighted to have collaborated on a successful AHRC research network application which seeks to explore the ways in which art and creative activism can contribute to efforts to understand and enact development alternatives. Paul Gready (CAHR), Jean Grugel (Politics) and Ruth Kelly (ActionAid, and a PhD student at CAHR) will lead on developing the network.

The network will bring together artists, academics, activists and development practitioners from the UK, Bangladesh and Uganda - Bangladesh and Uganda will serve as regional hubs to facilitate participation from neighbouring countries. The network will critically explore how art and creative activism - and specifically the themes of disruption, performance and translation - can articulate and help deliver development alternatives, and the extent to which these alternatives complement or are in tension with the global goals for development set out by the Sustainable Development Goals. The network will deploy creative methodologies, specifically the use of fictional future scenarios, to trigger debate and shape alternatives.  

Development alternatives is understood to mean alternatives to mainstream development approaches (e.g. neo-liberal, service delivery, aid-centred, hierarchical, entrepreneurial), in particular, diverse voices and approaches from the Global South rarely heard in development debates and practice.   

Paul Gready stated: 'This grant will inform exciting new initiatives relating to international development in the Politics Department and CAHR, and contribute to the new University-wide International Development Network'.