‘Lived theory’
The complexities of ‘radical openness’ in collaborative research
in Creativity and resistance in a hostile world
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Working with grassroots creative acts and producers is an attempt to connect theory and practice. Chapter 2 reflects on some of the complexities of co-production and how ‘lived theory’ has been implemented in Creativity and resistance. Co-creating research has been underpinned by the hope that such collaborative practice would help to achieve more inclusion, thereby providing a better understanding of the needs, predicaments and contexts of diverse communities. In critically outlining how the research has sought to take the actual experiences of research collaborators as a starting point, this chapter draws on the team’s intellectual framing and development in the project of bell hooks’ concept of ‘radical openness’, as well as on critical reflections from research team members and producers, community groups and academic partners. The chapter reflects on the extent to which a collaborative research approach can open up the opportunity to produce a new kind of research space in which collaborators help to shape the research process. We ask to what extent the project succeeded in mobilizing the idea of ‘lived theory’. We also ask, to what extent decolonisation can be achieved in a context where disenfranchised communities are actively part of the research process and are situated as agents making claims on their own terms through creative practice.

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