‘The Politics of Representation’ blog aims to provide an opportunity for greater engagement with the concepts and ethics of representation in research and in practice. It provides a platform for researchers and practitioners to engage publicly with how they are reflecting on the related issues within their research. It offers the opportunity to engage with new and ethically sensitive ways of thinking, learning from ‘others’, and of self-reflection.
The creation of this platform is based on two interlinked premises:
(1) Representation is an essential part of the process by which meanings are produced and exchanged however, given the politics of knowledge construction, misrepresentation and misrecognition of ideas, people, groups, spaces, and territories may occur requiring constant re-engagement with the implicit assumptions and practices of research.
(2) There is a need for a far greater discussion on the ethics of representation in research and an overall recognition of the eurocentric nature of research ethics that may not be applicable in the Global South. The new practices of representation in the UK context seem to be situated predominantly in arts-based and visual research, where issues of representation are an intrinsic part of practice, but these need to be utilised in all institutions and reflected on in wider methodological approaches .
We are influenced by postcolonial scholarship and we use this as a launching point from which to engage with new theories and methods beyond the confines of a specific field. Our goal is to build and bridge conversations as a means of understanding our role as practitioners and researchers in a post-truth era, marked by shifting boundaries of ‘belonging’. For more discussion on the issues covered above, please see our Recommended Readings.
It therefore stands to reason that our shared purpose is to bring the discussion of representation in research to the forefront of academic and practitioner-led debates and to participate in, reflect on, and encourage shifts in institutional culture and practice.
Our goal is to reach and collaborate with a community of researchers and practitioners, engaged in various avenues of work, including but not limited to: academia, media, NGOs, arts and culture.
- To showcase innovative methodologies from academics and practitioners
- To build a shared knowledge of how to better represent those with whom we work
- To collaborate with researchers around the world emphasising global frameworks and insights
- To amplify and provide a platform for emerging and marginalised perspectives
- To share and disseminate these findings in a manner that shapes institutional policy