Empowering literary educators and learners in Northern Ireland
University–community engagement for peace
in Lifelong learning, the arts and community cultural engagement in the contemporary university
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This chapter illustrates how a university-community partnership incorporated creative, non-text-based approaches into adult literacy work to contribute to the efforts towards creating greater equality and peacebuilding in Northern Ireland. It provides a description of the Literacy and Equality in Irish Society (LEIS) project. The chapter also provides an example of how a particular arts-based methodology is used for learning and examines the comments of the various people involved in this process. It shows how these new approaches to literacy learning helps the people to locate themselves in the conflict. The chapter argues that these methodologies provided new ways for expressing inner feelings and, in many ways, a much more creative, engaged and informed understanding of conflict and peacebuilding. Storytelling is an example of a creative method that can empower learners to understand experiences of inequality in their lives and the lives of others.

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