Developing modes of storytelling for public engagement in environmental policy [CONTEXTUAL PDF]
This represents a practice-led research workstream across multiple projects interrogating how storytelling might enhance public engagement in environmental policy.This work initially grew out of a research visit to Sardinia in 2015 to witness a traditional community conflict resolution tool (La Rasgioni), which took the form of a public storytelling performance within the theatrical framework of a mock courtroom. Liguori and Wilson then adapted the form into ‘The Reasons’ to support public debate around water dilemmas in the Cambridgeshire Fens, where they were working as part of the RCUK Drought and Water Scarcity programme. ‘The Reasons’ was performed twice in Cambridgeshire and presented at the AHRC Utopia Festival in London in 2016. Liguori and Wilson subsequently developed this practice further through their GCRF work in Nairobi, resulting in a new and culturally specific iteration of ‘The Reasons’, performed by residents of Korogocho to enable public debate around waste management in the slum, in September 2019, as part of UN-Live’s ‘Mark My City’ initiative. This practice has generated new methods of practice-led storytelling research, whereby the benefits of digital storytelling are combined with the social and community-building aspects of live, co-present storytelling performance to create a new hybrid form of storytelling. This work has also enabled the team to develop and test new theories of storytelling as a complete knowledge system that might interact with other (scientific, technocratic, etc.) knowledge systems. As a result, ‘The Reasons’ was developed as both a performance event and an innovative research methodology. This work has generated new insights into storytelling as a mode of thinking, knowing and interrogating experience, as well as effective ways of using storytelling practice as a research approach and how it might contribute to policy development. The work underpins a REF2021 Impact Case Study: ‘Increasing Active Citizenship and Community Action through Applied Storytelling’.
- Design and Creative Arts
- Creative Arts