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King's VEM Workshop: Exploring Visual, Embodied & Art-based Methodologies - 3 June 2019 to 4 June 2019

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*Limited spaces available. Please email your interest to

About the workshop:

The objective of this two-day multidisciplinary workshop is to bring back visual, embodied and art-based methodologies from the margins of social science research in/on the Global South to its centre. It will particularly gather scholars within and outside of King’s College London, nationally and internationally, to explore the role and potential of such methods and methodologies in the study of questions of conflict, violence and marginalisation, in (or from) the Global South.

Around 20 scholars will present their cutting-edge and innovative research from and outside social sciences (e.g. international development, geography, war studies, liberal arts & humanities and philosophy), interdisciplinary migration studies, anthropology and area studies engaging with such methods. This includes visual & digital (e.g. photography, film, video-documentary, animation, digital mapping and story-mapping and digital/virtual archives), performative & embodied (e.g. theatre and dance) and other art-based methods (e.g. poetry and engraving).

Scholars will question the participatory, liberatory and emancipatory potential of such methodologies in particular – both for the researcher and the researched. They will also examine the role of such approaches in the broader project of decolonising research on/with the Global South.

Activities include:

Guest speakers:Professor Sophie Harman (Queen Mary), Dr Olivera Simic (Griffith University) and Dr Lars Waldorf (Dundee)

Organisers: Dr Negar Behzadi and Dr Jelke Boesten (KCL)

Co-organisers: Professor Cathy McIlwaine, Dr Pablo De Orellana and Dr Rachel Kerr (KCL)

A two-day workshop to explore Visual, Embodied and Art-based Methodologies in the study of conflict, violence, and marginalisation in/from the Global South

About Visual, Embodied and Art-based metholodologies:

Visual, Embodied and Art-based methodologies have long been used in arts and humanities research as valid and fruitful ways of creating knowledge. This may include visual, digital, sensory, lived, and performance-based methods of practice, research and dissemination. In psychology and health sciences, scholars and practitioners have also long engaged with the potential of such methods in exploring questions around trauma, violence, stigmatisation and/pain.

While these conceptual themes and broader commitments to social, individual and collective transformation have been central to the concerns of social scientists across disciplines, the use of such methods has remained largely marginal or marginalised. In broader studies of/on the Global South, a search for rigour that could inform policy-oriented development research has often driven attention away from the potential of exploring these different ways of knowing. Yet, in the use of visual, embodied and art-based methodology, lies the potential for co-produced forms of knowledge, opening possibilities to explore otherwise difficult to articulate and to translate issues, on a more equal basis.

This agenda is central to research with research participants on sensitive issues in/on the Global South, where power relations are often unequal, and methods often bear the risk of reproducing the extractiveness characteristic of neo-colonial research.

The Visual Embodied Methodologies (VEM) Network at King's College London

This workshop is part of VEM+ at King's College London. This project builds on the emerging VEM network at KCL to create spaces of knowledge-exchange and research excellence around Visual, Embodied and Art-based methodologies within, across and beyond Social Sciences.

For all other inquiries about organisation, planning and attendance please write to our event assistant, Jessica Nitiema at

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