An aesthetics of consumption : how trash becomes transformative through participatory arts-based research
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Subjecta/r/tography; arts-based research (ABR); environmental awareness; garbage production; participatory research; photography
At a time where the scale of our environmental challenges is becoming increasingly evident and our fate is at risk, human beings’ collective ability to effect the changes that could mitigate consumptive behaviour is still our most significant hurdle. This research explores the potential of a participatory environmental art project using interviews and dialogue to inquire into if and how an arts-based education approach affects participants’ perceptions and emotions, environmental awareness, and behaviour. Inspired by Gregg Segal’s photographic project “7 days of garbage,” this research is designed using an arts-based educational approach focussing on the topic of consumption, habits, and waste management. It was conducted in the Spring of 2017 with families from the Montréal area who collected their garbage two weeks, were later aesthetically photographed with it, and subsequently interviewed about their experience and resulting insights. The study follows a qualitative approach, combining arts-based methodologies and narrative inquiry.
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