Going Public

9780774836623: Hardback
Release Date: 15th November 2017

9780774836630: Paperback
Release Date: 1st July 2018

9780774836654: EPUB
Release Date: 17th November 2017

9780774836647: PDF
Release Date: 15th November 2017

109 b&w photos

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 372

Series Shared: Oral and Public History

UBC Press

Going Public

The Art of Participatory Practice

Going Public is a conversation among socially engaged practitioners in theatre, documentary media, the visual and multimedia arts, and oral history that explores how and with whom we collaborate, and why.
Hardback / £82.00
Paperback / £33.00
EPUB / £32.00
PDF / £32.00

Going Public responds to the urgent need to expand current thinking on what it means to co-create and to actively involve the public in research activities. Drawing on conversations with over thirty practitioners across multiple cultures and disciplines, this book examines the ways in which oral historians, media producers, and theatre artists use art, stories, and participatory practices to engage creatively with their publics. It offers insights into concerns related to voice, appropriation, privilege, and the ethics of participation, and it reveals that the shift towards participatory research and creative practices requires a commitment to asking tough questions about oneself and the ways that people’s stories are used.


Part 1: Field Notes

1 Rethinking Engagement

In Conversation with jesikah maria ross

2 It’s Complicated

In Conversation with Lisa Ndejuru

3 Going beyond the “Juicy Quotes Syndrome”

In Conversation with Ronit Avni

Part 2: Sites of Struggle

4 People First and First Peoples

In Conversation with the Storyweaving Project

5 At Home, in Bed, and in the Streets

In Conversation with Kelly Matheson

6 Listening to the Post-Industrial City

In Conversation with Toby Butler


Appendix: Practitioners Interviewed

Notes; Selected Bibliography; Index

Elizabeth Miller is a documentary maker and professor at Concordia University whose work addresses timely issues such as water privatization, refugee rights, gender advocacy and climate change. Her documentary The Water Front (2007) received six awards, including the Silver Drop Award at the World Water Forum. Mapping Memories (2012), a participatory media project, resulted in a book, DVD, and website designed for educators across Canada. At Home, in Bed, and in the Streets (2014) was screened at international festivals and integrated into advocacy campaigns in Nicaragua. The Shore Line (2017), an online documentary, profiles coastal communities responding to extreme weather, sea level rise and unsustainable development. Miller co-founded the Concordia Documentary Centre and is a board member of the international screening network Cinema Politica.

Edward (Ted) Little is an educator, essayist, writer, and theatre maker. He is a professor and chair of the Department of Theatre at Concordia University, and the associate artistic director of Teesri Duniya Theatre, an innovative Montreal-based company dedicated to the creation and production of socially and politically relevant theatre based on the cultural experiences of diverse communities. Little was editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage (2002–12), and he participated in the Montreal Life Stories project as co-investigator, member of the coordinating committee, and leader of the Performance working group.

Steven High is a professor of history at Concordia University’s Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling. He is the author or co-editor of eight other books, including Oral History at the Crossroads: Sharing Life Stories of Survival and Displacement (2014), which won the Clio Prize for Quebec from the Canadian Historical Association. He was the principal investigator of the Montreal Life Stories project. He is a member of the US Oral History Association and the Canadian Historical Association as well as an advisory board member of the journal Oral History.

Going Public functions as a passionate clarion call to revolutionize artistic and knowledge production as a way to grapple with the urgent issues of the twenty-first century. The authors practise what they preach, building continuous reflexivity around the challenges, pitfalls, protocols, and practices of learning to work with communities rather than producing art or knowledge about them.

Brenda Longfellow, co-editor of The Perils of Pedagogy: The Works of John Greyson

In an era attuned to new possibilities for collaboration via digital technologies, Going Public presents a rich tapestry of case studies in participatory media, performance, and oral history productions that aim for public action or increased dialogue about urgent social and political issues.

Andy Rice, assistant professor of film studies and comparative media studies, Miami University in Ohio

There are many conversations going on in this book that will help to change the way we think about community-engaged research practice. Going Public is a book to savour and to return to time and again.

David Dean, co-editor of History, Memory, Performance