• Community and Creative Research. Developing Participatory Methodologies
    Vol 5 No 1 (2018)

    This special issue addresses the multiple ways in which community and creative research practices and methodologies can positively influence active citizenship and nurture social transformation. The issue consists of five peer reviewed articles, three “project experiences” and one interview. The five articles deal with creative and participatory research methodologies by focusing on small-scale specific contexts, like sensitive art practices in low-income neighborhoods, new perspectives on anthropological engagement, interactive film-making, collaborative research with circus artists and power distribution in peace-building processes. The project experiences bring us closer to a Portuguese UNESCO World Heritage site, to a Finnish project dealing with the arts as public service and to a Brazilian initiative dealing with social currency and labor activities to face marginalization. Finally, the interview addresses theoretical and methodological issues in the field of cultural participation, coming from Eastern Europe. In this way, the special issue covers a range of perspectives on and approaches to cross-cultural participatory methods and creative research tools that allow us to work from a society-friendly point of view in dealing with society’s fragilities, necessities or unexplored potentials.

  • Playful Participation II
    Vol 4 No 1 (2017)

    Play is a powerful source in people’s encounters with their everyday life, surroundings and society. Further, play is increasingly intertwined with a range of different fields, from learning, exercising, city planning to creative work relations. Identities are built through playful interactions with games and social media, playful learning engages students’ abilities and competencies, and organisations use play as a motor for innovation and engagements. The attempts to utilize playful behaviour in cultural, educational as well as organisational contexts reveal tensions when rational social organization meets forms of playful participation that are less bound by instrumental obligations. The articles in this issue ask: what exactly is playful participation? and: How might playful encounters motivate participation? To what extent can playful participation be utilised for e.g. cultural or educational purposes without losing sight of ‘being playful’? And how does playfulness challenge pre-established norms of participation? 

  • Playful Participation
    Vol 3 No 1 (2016)

    In 2015 we began, in collaboration with the NGO CounterPlay, to prepare a call for papers on playful participation. Due to the collaboration with CounterPlay we decided to invite both academics and practitioners to contribute. We knew that this would result in very diverse forms of articles. But what we didn’t expect was the interest from academics to publish articles on the kinds of work that they do in collaboration with practitioners. These kinds of collaborations are often difficult to fit into the normal form of academic publications. The result of our call was thus a number of articles that are examples of the kinds of transdisciplinary ventures that Conjunctions was launched to investigate. The articles are examples of collaborations between different kinds of participants, disciplines and institutions. Taking this transdisciplinary approach as a starting point the articles in this issue investigate what playful participation is, how playful encounters might motivate participation, to what extent playful participation can be utilised for e.g. cultural or educational purposes and how playfulness challenges pre-established norms of participation.

  • Participation across institutional and disciplinary boundaries
    Vol 2 No 2 (2015)

    The concept of participation has become increasingly important in a range of institutions and disciplinary contexts. The different institutional and disciplinary fields often interact indirectly by building on the same or interconnected ideals, logics and discourses or by using the same or similar theories. But it is quite rare that spaces enabling interaction and learning about cross-institutional and cross-disciplinary participation are created. This special issue is an attempt to do just that, and thus also to stress the importance of such transdisciplinary ‘spaces’ of learning and knowledge. By facilitating such transdisciplinary spaces this issue strives to: show how various disciplines understand, use and design ‘participation’; learn from already established insights and faults; potentially develop common understandings of what participation is; understand how ideal and processes of participation are linked to structures of power; and create better tools or models to explore, valuate and create participatory values, qualities and effects among researchers and practitioners. The articles in the issue are dealing with participatory processes in healthcare, political NGOs online, the cultural sector, education, employment and urban design.

  • Mediatized Cultural Activism
    Vol 2 No 1 (2015)
    The articles in this special issue of Conjunctions are investigating and theorization new and emerging forms of participatory politics and the ways in which cultural activism is transformed in relation to different forms of mediatized practices. The articles address several topics of concern: 1) First, the articles address questions of what a politics of participation – and of collectivities – might be in the Anthropocene, 2) the articles address the assemblage of events in mass movements’ resistance of state power, 3) the articles investigate local responses to mediatized events, and 4) the articles address action repertoires that are often overlooked when engaging with mediatized activism, namely mediatized cultural activism conducted by extreme right groups, activism that deliberately shames humanitarian forms of participation, and finally mediatized cultural activism that is not necessarily media-savvy and vocal, but rather thrives in and through silence.
  • Participatory Cultural Citizenship
    Vol 1 No 1 (2014)
    The recent participatory turn of contemporary cultural analysis and theory has high hopes in terms of democratic activation and empowerment of non-institutional voices (Jenkins 2006, Fenton 2008, Bruns 2008, Gauntlett 2011, Lievrouw 2011) and it has given rise to notions of the end of what was previously known as the passive audience/spectator, emergent collaborative working processes and to concepts such as participatory culture, DIY-culture, DIY urbanism, co-creation, produsage, creative place-appropriation, everyday creativity, participatory planning, social production and social entrepreneurship. Yet it has also, over time, raised concerns regarding the type of democratic interaction and citizen voicing enabled (Hess 2009, Couldry 2010, Fuchs 2013). From these perspectives the articles in this special issue address questions of Participatory Cultural Citizenship and investigate the opportunities, limits and challenges of collective creation and citizen empowerment and evaluate the political potentials or impacts of cultural participation.