|Published online: June 26, 2014||$US5.00|
The arts are a powerful medium for reflection about identity and can be used as a vehicle for creating understanding between groups of people grappling with issues of cultural difference in communities. Drawing upon recently completed PhD research, this article highlights the value of video making for exploring culture, difference, and colonization in a suburban context. The research is centred on the development of a grass-roots neighbourhood project based in Darwin, located at the "top end" of the Northern Territory of Australia. From 2008 to 2010, a small group of residents worked together to increase positive social connections across different cultural groups in their suburb. A key aspect of the project was the creation of a neighbourhood DVD, which featured local stories (about the past and the present), and highlighted neighbourhood assets. The processes of making and sharing the video became a focal point for the creation of an alternative community identity. Using a narrative analysis of 20 participant interviews, the research in this paper is focused on understanding the meaning and function of the video to the community. While many mediums can be used for encouraging connections between diverse groups of people, this arts-based approach was particularly useful for facilitating new learning, new connections and new feelings, all related to deeper considerations of community identity and belonging.
|Keywords:||Community, Diversity, Community Arts, Multiculturalism|
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Centre for Health and Wellbeing, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia