AHRC network: The arts as a vehicle for knowledge co-construction

Project Details


AHRC GCRF Research Networking Scheme: Shaping policy processes through citizen voice in Francophone West Africa - the arts as a vehicle for knowledge co-construction
This networking activity brings together research, policy, cultural and community engagement organisations from across Sahelian Francophone West Africa. In this context, many citizens have minimal opportunity to contribute to governance processes, and their voices are seldom heard in deliberative spaces.

Meanwhile, creative and artistic methods such as music and drawing have been used elsewhere to represent citizen voice to policy, in ways which could be conceptualised as storytelling, such as photovoice, digital storytelling or participatory filmmaking.
Co-creation of such outputs often occurs between participants and researchers. As a rich tradition of storytelling exists in West Africa, this network aims to discover whether artistic and cultural methods can be used similarly here and, going further, whether policy makers themselves can engage with communities and artists to co-create understanding about issues of mutual concern.

Considering how far arts and storytelling may be a relevant mode of citizen-policy engagement in West Africa, the project asks:

> Can citizens and policy makers co-create understanding about issues of concern through arts and storytelling?
> If not, can forms of artistic expression, including 'told stories', capture citizens' experience and convey their concerns in a visceral sense to policy actors?
> Furthermore, can co-creative storytelling address power relations between policy actors and citizens, as it addresses issues of power between researcher and participant?

We take a transdisciplinary approach to achieve this, linking local knowledge with that of the humanities, social sciences, and policy studies.
Effective start/end date1/02/2115/01/22




  • arts
  • citizen participation
  • Sustainability


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.