Research subject areas:
Peace-building, reconciliation, conflict transformation, Arts, Culture and Media, visual, participatory and arts based methods
Dr Tiffany Fairey is a Research Associate in the Department of War Studies at Kings College London. She has worked for 20 years with participatory visual arts and media as a researcher, practitioner and educator. Co-founder and director (1999-2009) of PhotoVoice, she has been involved in more than 40 participatory photography and digital media projects with communities and partners in the UK and internationally. Her research is concerned with inter-disciplinary enquiry into the ethics and impact of participatory visual work and arts-based interventions and research methods in post-conflict, conflict transformation and community settings.
Since 2017 Fairey has worked as a Research Associate on the AHRC / GCRF funded, ‘Art & Reconciliation’, exploring the role of the arts and artists in reconciliation processes. She is also PI of Changing the Story BiH / Youth Speaks, a youth driven participatory film-making project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In these projects she is especially concerned with the role of arts and media in inclusive peace-building from below. Her PhD research sought to re-frame the promise of participatory photography, problematizing its claims to ‘empower’, ‘give voice’ and enable social change by re-imaging its critical and emancipatory potential through longitudinal research and case-studies of projects in the UK, Nepal and Peru. Her publications include practitioner resources on participatory and therapeutic photography and academic articles on the politics of voice in participatory visual projects, evaluating the impact of arts interventions and participatory arts and peace-building.
Fairey holds a PhD in Visual Sociology (Goldsmiths College), a post-graduate diploma in Community Arts (Goldsmiths College) and an MA in Social Anthropology (Edinburgh University). She lived in Latin America for 9 years. Her work has been recognised with various awards including Best New Charity for PhotoVoice at The Charity Awards (2004) and the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal for outstanding advance in photography for public service (2010).
- Participatory and inclusive peace-building
- Dialogue and conflict transformation
- Reconciliation, healing and trauma
- Visual and action research methods
- Participatory and community arts and media
- Collaborative and participatory (visual) approaches
- Arts evaluation and impact
See here for a full list of publications.
Fairey developed PhotoVoice’s participatory photography training and has run numerous courses on participatory photography methods with visual practitioners, NGOs and universities in the UK and internationally. In addition she has developed courses in Photography for Health Researchers (Kings College London) and Participatory Photography for Peace-builders (Centre for Justice and Peace-building, EMU). She has supervised undergraduate and masters dissertations at London College of Communications and mentored students undertaking participatory visual research in community settings.
Fairey started her career in civil society and community work, founding and building the international charity PhotoVoice. This work was recognised with various awards including winner of best arts and culture charity (The Charity Awards 2003), winner of best new charity (The Charity Awards 2004), winner of Wavemaker Award (2007), shortlisted as Young Philanthropist of the Year (2005) and The Hood Medal for outstanding advance for photography in public service, Royal Photographic Society (2010).
As a researcher her work often involves participatory action research and impact assessment with communities and civil society organisations. Fairey mentors and advises arts practitioners, visual researchers and civil society, community and NGO initiatives on participatory visual projects, monitoring and evaluation and strategic programme development. She is an advisor to Voice of Freedom and is on the advisory board of Post Conflict Research Centre. She was academic reviewer for Save the Children’s research into their image-making, The People in the Pictures, research that has shaped a re-invigorated debate into image-making practices in the NGO sector with the establishment of a sectorial working group that advises NGOs communications professionals on ethical image-making.