Research & Community Projects

1. Affective Mappings Project

Purpose: This project focuses on a neglected dimension of “refugee’s experiences of resettlement”.  Drawing from Black and Indigenous Feminist theorizing, we propose a participatory research program designed to investigate whether and how refugee populations assemble ‘homescape’ in the locale of resettlement.

Theory & Practice: The project follows Katherine McKittrick’s argument that racial, gender-sexuality, and economic subaltern subjectivities possess their particular geographies, the particular ways of creating place and space, which are not pathological, damaged reactions to violence and dispossession but creative responses to political, economic, and symbolic violence. The guiding hypothesis is that refugee geographies emerge out of the creation of affective mappings, which expose the ways in which refugee geographies remember the material entanglement of everything that exists, which guide both the reconstruction of personal and collective existence in the host community. The idea of material entanglement informs the concept of holistic community. Holistic communities are communities that identify with the affective and physical spaces created to assemble ‘homescape’. Participants’ empowerment manifests through the recollection of traditional technologies and the development of means of adaptation to newer physical and social environments.

The project will use the qualitative research methods of semi-structured interviews, oral histories, and group discussion. In the Creative Practices workshops, participants and researchers will engage in film-making, creation of materials and shapes (UBC Civil Eng. Materials Lab), poetry writing, and other artistic forms that express affective mappings. In the Recollection Workshops, participants will share and experiment with traditional practices they bring from home.


2. Critical + Creative Social Justice Studies Research Program (C+CSJS)

Purpose: Building the groundwork for establishing partnerships with local, national, and international institutions and focusing on role of creative arts in social transformation, this program is designed to promote collaborations between academics and artists based on their common interests in promoting new work on vital issues in areas of research – such as, anti- colonial, feminist, critical racial, critical sexuality, Critical Global, and Trans* Studies.

Theory & Practice: We envision social justice not as merely redressive or reparative but as transformative, and as such, our research profile focuses on innovative and collaborative creative practices in a rapidly evolving world of emerging media and new communication platforms. From this basis in an unprecedented fusion of critical theory, arts, and activism, we will be holding workshops and discussions on the intersection of critical scholarship and creative practice with a roster of academic, art, and grass- roots organizations, curatorial experts, scholars, and activists locally, nationally, and internationally.