Next week, I will be starting the arts-based research portion of my master's degree. No doubt my findings will make their way to this blog. However, I am creating a little bubble of safety for myself, because I will be exploring aspects of my identity that are in conflict with each other.
One of the arts-based research strategies I will be using is called a Life Excavation. It is something I discovered in a dissertation by Rebecca Rohloff. She created something called the Imaginarium, a version of expressive arts that is oriented towards art education rather than psychotherapy.
In one of her Imaginarium methods, you collect images related to a particular issue. This can include photos, advertisements, art, snap shots, billboards, films, anything visual. In my case I will be collecting images related to my identity.
The next step is to explore the image. What is their emotional impact? Who owns and benefits from the images? Whose reality and voice is excluded?
How we understand and respond to images forms our sense of self, who we think we are and who we think we are not. It can reveal clogged and tangled areas within us that need salve and healing: resentments, judgements, repressions, entitlements and privileges. It can show us where we need to take action and speak up, where we are ignorant. And hopefully, also reveal where we can feel good and empowered.
I'll let you know what I discover.