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Creative and critical: engaging African youth and their futures through collaborative research 
Chloé Buire (Les Afriques dans le Monde - CNRS)
Laura A. Nkula-Wenz (African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town)
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Urban Studies (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Philosophikum, S75
Friday 2 June, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

How can academic projects open spaces of expression for young people? Reflecting on first-hand experiences of collaborative research, this panel interrogates the practical, political, and ethical opportunities and challenges of researchers working in partnership with youth.

Long Abstract:

The demand to make research relevant, accessible and empowering is particularly high when young people take part in a project. Whether through art-based methods, multimedia interfaces or more informal engagements, creative tools are privileged, and deep immersion becomes almost unavoidable.

Beyond general ideas of interdisciplinarity and reflexivity, this panel seeks to unravel the specificities of this kind of engaged research. How do we navigate variegated expectations within a team mixing academic and non-academic partners? What kind of tools do we mobilise in the different phases of a project (defining the objectives, collecting materials, writing and disseminating results)? How do affective relationships and political landscapes influence the research process and its outcomes? And last but not least, how does working collaboratively affect our ways of understanding and deepens our reciprocal capacity to listen to each other?

Based on first-hand experiences, the contributions will reflect on the possibilities but also on the objections raised by collaborative approaches with a special attention to the position of young people in the process. Our objective is to unpack the practicalities of youth-oriented research and explore new terrains of engagement, including through critical pedagogy. We also want to interrogate how academic methods can embrace multiple ways of knowing and eventually contribute to broader agendas of social change.

We welcome unconventional formats (artistic products, performances, multimedia…) and contributions from collectives beyond the University. Proposals can be submitted in English, French, German or Portuguese.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -