About The Arts-Based Research (ABR) Global Consortium
ABR Global Research Team
Nancy Gerber, Richard Siegesmund, Karin Hannes, Elisabetta Biffi, Jacelyn Biondo, Marco Gemingnani
Mission and Vision
The Arts-Based Research Global Consortium is a group of international scholars who have gathered together for the purpose of advocating for the visibility, accessibility, and valuation of arts-based research approaches in addressing human rights, social justice, and critical global issues. Within our current socio-political context and climate, the values of empathy, understanding, introspection, and truth, relative to the communal human condition are at a critical point. The regard and positioning of these human values directly relates to how we construct and protect our global community, our roles and agency in these communities, the socio-political discourse, the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, and the ultimate impact on our survival and evolution. Within this context it behooves us to study these phenomena in the social and health sciences critically exploring, disrupting, and deconstructing the implicit research philosophies that drive and contribute current neoliberal and colonizing trends in defining truth, knowledge, justice, values, and our overall inclusive quality of life (Gerber et al.,2020).
Arts-based research (ABR) is an umbrella term describing the intentional and intensive explorations that include and value the arts to varying degrees as method, practice, evidence, result ,and public engagement. Within that context, arts-based research "is an effort to extend beyond the limiting constraints of discursive communication in order to express meanings that otherwise would be ineffable” (Barone & Eisner, 2012, p.1). In its various iterations and to various degrees, ABR centralizes the arts in the philosophy, method of investigation, representation, interpretation and dissemination of the research. Valuing inclusivity, public accessibility, social activism, and public resonance, ABR is positioned to transcend embedded socio-cultural divisions and hierarchies promoting new insights about the human condition and progressive intersubjective discourse to re-imagine social constructions and affect socio-cultural transformations.
The umbrella term Arts-Based Research (ABR) refers to a continuum of philosophical and methodological research approaches in which the intentional juxtapositioning and engagement with the arts by researchers and participants varies based upon the nature and purpose of the research. Arts-based research practice, arts-informed, and arts-related, research describe only three of the current range of typologies along a continuum and under the umbrella of ABR. Along this continuum the degree and type of engagement with the arts by researchers and participants varies depending upon the perspective and purpose of the investigation. Regardless of the approach, ABR philosophies and methods are aligned with and dedicated to the in-depth study of the invisible multi-dimensional phenomena and values essential to understanding the individual and collective human condition inaccessible through other methods of investigation. Such phenomena can only be completely understood by investigating the underlying perceptual, sensory, embodied, emotional, and imaginal lived and felt experiences accessible through the language of aesthetics and the arts. Invisible yet impactful, these beyond words data , illusive in dominant research traditions, contribute to our holistic understanding of underlying constructions resulting in empathy, compassion, meaningful social discourse, and reformative social justice.
Despite the obvious benefits and current increase in the conduct of arts-based research, arts-based researchers face multiple challenges including critical and implicit societal, disciplinary, philosophical and/or methodological issues and biases that impede the global valuation, acceptability, and advancement of ABR research. The response to these challenges requires creative collaborative strategies to develop a global arts-based research agenda defining ABR practices, robustness, and contributions while identifying relevant issues and stakeholders, constructing fruitful research partnerships, and funding larger scale progressive arts-based and arts-related research projects. To this end we are gathering together scholars from multiple disciplines, cultures, and countries to form the Arts-Based Research (ABR) Global Consortium to conduct in depth discussions and analyses of these primary issues and to critically examine and define epistemic characteristics, purposes, and methodologies of ABR from an interdisciplinary and global perspective (Gerber et al., 2020).
Future Directions and Goals
Although we are a new group, thus far, our efforts, have formed our agenda, a philosophical position, and methodological strategies for addressing the: 1) status of ABR in the global research community: 2) global social and health science issues; 3) research objectives and a relevant global ABR agenda; 4) an action plan and strategy for education and dissemination of information about ABR; 5) the publication and distribution of an arts-based research good practices document; and, 6) the development of a global ABR consortium to continue this work. Our aim is to raise the visibility of arts-based research, highlight its contribution to social consciousness central to the quality of human life, empathy, social justice and discourse. Our goals and action plan at this point in our development include:
Continue to build ABR Global consortium of researchers
Development of a “Good ABR Practice Document”
Develop working groups to address projects and objectives
Identify current ABR research projects
Identify stakeholders and funding sources
Develop plan for educating stakeholders and consumers
Develop education and training venues for ABR researchers
Identify global topics and ABR research teams
Develop an ABR blog
We invite others interested in ABR to join us.
Barone, T. & Eisner, E. (2012). Arts based research. SagePublications, Inc.
Gerber, N., Biffi, E., Biondo, J., Gemignani, M., Hannes, K., & Siegesmund, R. (2020). Arts-Based Research in the Social and Health Sciences: Pushing for Change with an Interdisciplinary Global Arts-Based Research Initiative. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 21(2), http://dx.doi.org/10.17169/fqs-21.2.3496.