This book explores the practical delivery of participatory arts projects in international development. Bringing together an interdisciplinary group of academics, international development professionals and arts practitioners, the book engages honestly with the competing challenges faced by the different groups of people involved.

Participatory arts are becoming increasingly popular in international development circles, fuelled in part by the increased accessibility of audio-visual media in the digital age, and also by the move towards participatory discourses in the wake of the UN’s Agenda 2030. The book asks:

  • What do participatory arts projects look like in practice, and why are they used as an international development tool?
  • How can we develop practical and sustainable development projects on the ground, localising best practice according to cultural, economic and linguistic contexts?
  • What are the enablers of, and barriers to, successful participatory initiatives, and how can we evaluate past projects to learn and feed into future projects?

Written to appeal to both academics and practitioners, this book would also be suitable for teaching on courses related to participatory development, community arts, and culture and development.

chapter |18 pages


‘Post-participatory’ arts for the ‘post-development’ era

part I|2 pages

Organisational perspectives

chapter 1|18 pages

Imagining power

20Development, participation and creativity

chapter 2|16 pages

Reflections on practice

Integrating creative arts into INGOs to promote participation, activism and alternative development futures

chapter 3|17 pages

Beyond the development imaginary

Alternative policy in Brazil and Colombia

chapter 4|15 pages

Challenging the message of the medium

Scaling participatory arts projects and the creativity agenda in Kenya

part II|2 pages

The role of the researcher in development

chapter 5|16 pages

When Elvis dances

89Activating community knowledge through participatory creative practices in Santiago, Chile

chapter 6|19 pages

Fragments on heroes, artists and interventions

Challenging gender ideology and provoking active citizenship through the arts in Kosovo

chapter 7|19 pages

Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP)

Youth and participatory arts in Rwanda

part III|2 pages

Exploring the art produced in development

chapter 8|14 pages

Arts, education and reconciliation in Cambodia

145Sociological Perspectives

chapter 11|14 pages

Filming the margins

Documentary film, participation and the poetics of resistance in contemporary Brazil

chapter 12|15 pages

Taking the product seriously

Questions of voice, politics and aesthetics in participatory video

chapter 13|18 pages

Researching like an artist

Disrupting participatory arts-based methods in Uganda and Bangladesh