„Transforming Personal Problems into Public Issues”

This essay presents some interpretations of the notion participation in the arts and in social sciences, based on the author’s activist and research practice. Her experience is based on communal, collaborative and participatory practices therefore she gives an insight into some of the theoretical frames that help understanding these practices. She is looking for answers for questions like: what is the knowledge – connected to its own world – that the community gains through the common processes of creation and research; what are the actions that can be generated by this knowledge, and how can this knowledge help in the practice to reach their common goals and bring about social change. She refers to theories that can be the basis of pragmatic and socially responsible roles of artists and researchers, arguments by Peter Reason, Alaine Touraine, Arjun Appadurai and Michael Burawoy. To analyse participatory processes, Balint suggests to separate three dimensions of the different actors and agents of the situation. She differentiates the following dimensions: 1. Participation from the viewpoint of the artist/ researcher – who is usually the initiator of the process. 2. Participation from the perspective of the people being involved in the co-creation process – “participation based on creation”; and 3. Participation from the standpoint of the public – the dimension of social/public participation. In the participatory processes – both in the field of arts and science – we shall examine all three dimensions and actors one by one and together too, concerning their interaction.

Released: Replika 100, 71–75.