An exploratory project on bridging the personal and the political through creative advocacy work

This report reflects on the research process and findings of a short study designed to explore how the personal, lived experiences of marginalised communities can be creatively expressed with the aim of informing, shaping, and catalysing political and high-level advocacy work.

“The stories themselves were shared by participants in participatory research processes and developed in group sessions with the facilitators. Some have been documented through arts-based, visual methods, while others have found a home in the encounters and moments shared in the groups.”

This is a report with many authors, from the facilitators – Yusra Price, Jill Van Dugteren, Xoli Fuyani and Shingi West – to the Director of the Scalabrini Centre, Giulia Treves, and the Scalabrini staff, and to all the women and girls who participated in the creative processes and shared experiences and stories. The commitment, hard work and willingness to engage by all those involved made the writing of this report the easy part, and I am extremely grateful to everyone. As this report shows, there is no obvious or one way of thinking through creative advocacy or of sharing and engaging with the stories that need to be heard. There are also far more questions than there are answers. The hope, then, is that this is a starting point and that many more creative, vibrant, and meaningful engagements are to come.