Studying participatory arts-based psychosocial support and peacebuilding at a distance through a topological lens: the case of MAP at Home project in Rwanda

Charitonos, Koula and Uwihoreye, Chaste (2024). Studying participatory arts-based psychosocial support and peacebuilding at a distance through a topological lens: the case of MAP at Home project in Rwanda. In: Breed, Ananda; Marambio, Helena-Ulrike; Pells, Kirrily and Timalsina, Rajib eds. Children, Youth and Participatory Arts for Peacebuilding: Lessons from Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal. Routledge Studies in Development and Society. Abingdon: Routledge (In Press).

URL: https://www.routledge.com/Children-Youth-and-Parti...

Abstract

Participatory research is an area of social science research where the effect of COVID19 pandemic has been felt most acutely. The study presented in this chapter - part of the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) at Home project in Rwanda - focuses on participatory arts-based methods that were delivered at a distance and sought to support young people affected by mental health issues to access psychosocial support. The chapter draws on a social topological lens (Mol and Law, 1994; Bayne et al., 2014) and presents data generated through synchronous interaction via video conferencing software such as Zoom in participatory workshops. It aims to address the following questions: What is a participatory arts-based workshop at a distance? How it is enabled, how it is impeded, and what possibilities does it create? How are we to think about the participatory workshop space enacted in the context of this study? These questions encourage different considerations about space and time and help develop a more nuanced way of understanding the many, complex spatial and temporal arrangements of arts-based research at a distance and online and the various ways in which participants, facilitators, researchers and psychosocial support workers were mobilised within it.

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