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Community, Politics and Resistance in DTES Vancouver

June 2011

Inter-urban Gallery, DTES, Vancouver

The research was funded by the British Academy, conducted with Prof.Philip Stenning,  supported by the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, the Wolfson Research Institute, Durham University and documented by AHA Media.

This ethnographic, community arts based research conducted  in downtown eastside Vancouver (skid row)  2010-2011 explored  and documented  ‘community’ through the eyes of the inhabitants - the binners, sex workers, street vendors and artists struggling to make out in circumstances not of their choosing. One dominant theme in the research - the struggle for recognition – emerges against depictions that categorise and record residents as abject, ‘other’ and ‘different’.

This research project sought to explore in partnership with local agencies ways of seeing the spaces and places of community through the eyes of DTES residents and workers, using participatory action research (PAR) and participatory arts (PA). This research built upon Stenning’s photographs of DTES in 2002 and 2008. The principles underpinning PAR and PA are: inclusion, participation, valuing all local voices, community driven and sustainable outcomes. Community co-researchers based in each organisation worked with Maggie to conduct the research and supported the creation of visual representations of ‘community’. This group formed the research team and authored the report and articles.


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