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Co-creating projects with traveller families
Artist Educator
Artist Educator
Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK
I have been co-creating visual storytelling projects with traveller families across Wiltshire (funded by Kandu Arts)

Co-creating narrative work with traveller families

In our first explorations together we looked at the work of poet Jo Clement and discussed how she explores personal family histories and traditions that merge her cultural traveller roots with her current settled identity. We created a series of illustrated poems that explored relatable themes that are drawn from lived experience.

We visited local museums to gather drawings of interesting objects that spoke to us as a way to start to think about how objects and images help to make collective memories and narratives.

Weaving connective threads

We have further explored how place and identity interconnect by developing a textile project together. The co-creators of the project have been making signature patterns and developing skills in using textile paint, printmaking and appliqué.

They have particularly enjoyed gaining independent making skills on the sewing machine.

The project is fluid and evolves in response to the dynamic of the group and interests of the individuals involved week by week

Communities of Practice

‘Communities of practice are groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.’
Etienne Wenger, 2002.

‘Communities of practice (CoP’s)’

Communities of practice are formed by people who engage in a process of collective learning and it is this age-old process (but relatively new term) that characterises my approach to creative learning and engagement.

Mixing different people who have diverse experiences of similar interests is a characteristic process of how I co-create spaces and experiences.

The Communities of Practice that we develop enable and encourage intergenerational learning, peer sharing and utilise inclusivity as a creative asset.

‘Teaching to Transgress’

In her book, ‘Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, (1994), Bell Hooks advocates for teaching students to transgress against racial, sexual and class boundaries in order to achieve the gift of freedom.

‘Engaged Pedagogy’

Hooks advocates for ‘engaged pedagogy’ that is holistic, progressive and inclusive since “to educate as the practice of freedom is a way of teaching that anyone can learn”. These ideas have been instrumentally formative for me.

Our creative Community of Practice inside the ‘Hamman’ at Katsikas Refugee Camp, 2016