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Community Arts and Social Change in Rural Northern Ontario

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Oct252013

Community Arts and Social Change in Rural Northern OntarioArtBridges | ON | 2013
Robin Sutherland

"This study employed the photovoice methodology to investigate how partaking in a community arts project might allow youth in a deindustrialized communityin rural Northern Ontario, Canada to collectively identify and address challenges facing them and how this process may affect their ability to lead social change. Findings suggest that the photovoice process, as an example of a community arts project, was able to create a temporary space for youth creativity which allowed for the achievement of critical consciousness through the renegotiation of community narratives and appropriation of positive identities; the fostering of bridging and bonding social capital; the development of in-between and metaphorical spaces, and the promotion of a receptive environment for the voice of youth to be both heard and heeded by local decision makers, thereby enabling youth-led social change to occur. Data was collected through focus groups with 43 youth and 8 adults in Blind River, Ontario. The study supports the use of art as a resource for social change."

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