Community in Place: Developing a Framework of Engagement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper will introduce the position of the artist's role within the Northern Ireland context and discuss approaches in artist-led research and practice in communities where there have been issues with cohesion and conflict. Discussion will focus particularly on instances where those artist's practices have sought to engage people in direct discourse with their communities past. The objectives of such approaches are grounded in the assumption that reflecting on the past will inform the present and impact upon future behaviours. Such assumptions inform much of the current cultural policy and debate within the United Kingdom, however, this paper argues that the complexities of 'communities', which may have perceived commonalities, may require a framework of engagement informed by a service design thinking approach. A case study will be presented of such a framework of engagement with post-primary children investigating issues of identity and cultural markers. The concluding comments will discuss the challenges surrounding inter-generational perceptions and beliefs and the importance of understanding value systems. It is argued that these factors will greatly impact upon the future shape of processes of creative engagement within communities if they are to truly become effective mechanisms and catalysts for social, and in turn, cultural change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-57
JournalInternational Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 17 Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

The paper was first presented at the seventh International Conference on the Arts in Society, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, 23 - 25 July 2012.
The case study included in the article details the approaches and tools used in the facilitation of the 'Cultural Fusions: Images of Ireland' project which the author was commissioned to design and deliver as a result of a tendering process by the North East Peace III Partnership. The North East PEACE III Partnership is the delivery mechanism for Theme 1.1 of Priority 1 of the PEACE III Programme.


  • Community Engagement
  • Culture
  • History
  • Conflict
  • Social Impact of the Arts
  • Service Design


Dive into the research topics of 'Community in Place: Developing a Framework of Engagement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this