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Title: Doing research together: creating spaces of collaboration with young people using visual methods
Authors: Dawani, Sama 
Loots, Gerrit 
Keywords: Collaborative practice;Visual methods;Self;Spaces;Contexts;Performance
Issue Date: 2015
Journal: Visual Methodologies 
Abstract: This paper illustrates how a visual method emerged in a way that helped in creating spaces with participants for collaboration, participation, and engagement in the research process as well as in the construction and the embodiment of the self. This particular work is part of a wider ethnographic research project with Palestinian adolescents (ages 15-17) in their school context. The paper also highlights the journey of the researcher who positioned herself as part of the field, her interaction with the context and with participants, the experiences, moments; and spaces that were co-constructed. While at the same time showing that involvement also means to be involved and to participate as a researcher and as a person in the lives and the context of participants. The already existing school environment and culture allowed for such spaces to emerge, and therefore research activities and events were embedded within and were created from within the context. Chosen moments of self and identity were mainly embodied through ‘expressive’ self-portraits using, but not limited to, collage. However, in this contribution our intention is not to focus on the visual product as a final expression of the self, but on the process of self-construction that was taking place continuously through different art processes and other moments over an extended period of time. We argue that a visual method, in addition to stimulating spaces of possibilities for collaboration, opened up spaces of possibilities for the self. We stress that the context composed of time, space, and audience, all which were essential to what and how the self was embodied and performed.
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