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Title: Artist-led projects with asylum seekers as a means of strengthening community cohesion
Authors: Guy, Anna Katherine.
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This research aims to identify whether artist-led projects with asylum seekers can strengthen community cohesion. It concentrates on New Labour Government policy and the current debate relating to the intrinsic and instrumental worth of the arts. These are considered alongside debates on measurement. The research is focused on projects within Tyne and Wear. The methodology used is three-fold involving, attending the arts projects, participant observations and individual semi-structured interviews with each participant. Data is gathered from participants, artists and funders to ensure a holistic picture of each projects is built up. In doing this, social capital and identity construction are identified as effective areas where the arts projects can be seen to be having a positive impact on participant’s personal community cohesion. This research establishes a two-strand framework for community cohesion from which arts projects effectiveness can be studied; examining both collective community cohesion and personal community cohesion. The arts projects are seen to have a more direct impact on the personal community cohesion of asylum seekers, tackling issues such as isolation, mental health needs, language barriers, negative stereotypes, cultural isolation, lack of self esteem, lack of social contact and issues around identity which are specific barriers to community cohesion. The funding of different projects is discussed, as is the influence of New Labour Government policy (1997-2010) on locally funded projects. 75% of the projects within this study would not now be granted funding if starting in 2011. It can be concluded from this research that artist-led projects with asylum seekers can be used as a means of strengthening community cohesion. this appears to be most effective when there is clear and close communication between the funding organisation and arts project, when long-term project funding is available and when participants are treated as individuals whose needs are considered. Ways in which the arts projects can reform themselves within the current economic climate are suggested both by working in partnership with other services and through focusing on solidifying the evidence base for the arts so that they may be in a stronger position once funding is available again.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Arts and Cultures

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