Immaterial Monuments, Narrative Inequality and Glocal Social Work: Towards Critical Participatory Community Art-Based Practices

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The aim of this study is to ask critical questions about the immaterial narrative force of monuments and social justice related to place and space, and to develop an interdisciplin- ary, participatory, art-based methodology for the study of narrative inequality in glocal social work. The study begins with the glocal turn in social work, a condition character- ised by a critical understanding of the interlinked and intersectional localities within a world perspective, theoretically and methodologically reshaped towards space, the arts, architecture and interdisciplinary practice-based collaborations. It develops participatory art as a tool for dialogue and critical spatial practice in urban environment by drawing upon critical scholarship on participatory art projects and the author’s experiences as a guest participant within the project ‘Immaterial Monuments’ in the Western Balkans. Experiences from this project are used as a catalyst to illustrate and discuss how participa- tory community art and social sculpture, with illustrations from photography and poetry, are useful for visualising the language of narrative inequality. The study argues that the question of how immaterial monuments reflect the worldviews and dominant narratives of privileged elites restrict spaces for marginalised people, and that glocal social work re- search, education and practice needs to promote anti-discriminatory and social justice perspectives through the critical study of immaterial monuments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number059
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)776–795
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5145 Social work
  • critical spatial practices
  • glocal social work
  • immaterial monuments
  • narrative inequality
  • participatory community art
  • urban environment

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