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Reframing health promotion research and practice in Australia and the Pacific: The value of arts-based practices
chapterposted on 08.09.2021, 23:09 by Wendy L Madsen, Michelle Redman-Maclaren, Vicki-Lea SaundersVicki-Lea Saunders, Catherine O'MullanCatherine O'Mullan, Jennifer JuddJennifer Judd
Arts-based research (ABR) practices have the potential to reframe research and practice in health promotion. In this chapter, four case studies are presented to foreground the ethical and methodological value of ABR practices in health promotion research and practice. The case studies describe a range of place-based ABR projects in Australia and the Pacific that were undertaken with hard-to-reach populations as part of practice or research activities that promote health and well-being. While ABR practices emphasize process, arts products, or both, the outcomes illustrated in these case studies amplify local knowledge and voices. Thus, ABR encompasses aesthetics of beauty and experience. Engaging with ABR practices enabled deeper understandings of health promotion and well-being research and reframed the more traditional role of researcher from objective observer to co-participant/co-facilitator. Central to the success of each of these activities was the use of iterative, organic research processes and practices to respond to the priorities of the communities. Like planting a seed, ABR practices involve growing and nurturing group potential and place-based knowledges, often within challenging social environments with little control over external or internal factors. Therefore, a primary focus of ABR is process and engagement. For the authors of this chapter, the value of using ABR practices in health promotion research lies in how it aligns with and reframes their own positions as health promotion practitioner-researchers. ABR’s value also lies in the way it critically challenges more traditional approaches to research, reasoning, validity, data construction, and interpretation practices.