New publication: Participatory Action Research in Digital Storytelling

This chapter reflects on the outcomes of an ongoing transnational partnership between Hope Raisers, a youth-led NGO based in Korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Storytelling Academy at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom (UK). A group of researchers and artists explore the value of digital storytelling as a tool for participatory action research (PAR) through an exploration of the challenges and opportunities of applying this tool to facilitate online and face-to-face conversations.

The focus is around issues of global interest from a local and personal perspective. A number of case studies are discussed to demonstrate the impact of a digital storytelling mobile lab, via PAR, on a group of stakeholders including community members, Nairobi-based artists and UK-based researchers. The case studies recount the processes of exploring hybrid forms of storytelling (digital and performative) to co-design a public event focused on waste management and to develop community-led solutions to the design of urban spaces. The methodological, social and cultural challenges faced while applying PAR approaches to facilitate the digital storytelling process are addressed.

There is critical reflection on the ways in which workshop participants and other storytellers were supported in shared, collaborative and asynchronous projects from different, non-traditional learning locations. Through this, it is demonstrated that, while PAR approaches promote social justice, there are a number of ethical dilemmas to tackle and protocols to develop. In this way the authors share different ways of applying a culturally appropriate and practical PAR approach to address societal issues and create social change.

This chapter is part of the fascinating book Co-teaching/co-research in contexts of inequality: Using networked learning to connect Africa and the world available open access via this link.

The chapter is available on our University repository via this link.