Academic Lead: Dr Ornette D Clennon
In this paper, I will outline a case study of “scholar activism” that used participatory arts as a social catalyst for agency, which explores the inherent challenges of attempting to conscientisise a bridge between academic scholarly knowledge and grassroots community campaigns. I will argue how the differing sometimes conflicting epistemological starting points and agendas of these two areas makes meaningful work in this field challenging and complex, especially when working within a social justice framework. I will also argue that the neoliberal context within which the academy increasingly sits opens up important ethical questions about the form and the role of research with communities. I will briefly discuss how the market commoditisation of research and its participants can often make marginalised communities feel that they are nothing more than income generating levers whose sole purpose is to enhance the REF Impact of a university’s research profile.