The arts of integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts

Evans, Catrin (2020) The arts of integration: Scottish policies of refugee integration and the role of the creative and performing arts. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis contributes to the growing scholarly and policy interest in participatory arts practice and the integration of refugees within the UK and across the Global North. Situated in Glasgow the thesis offers an under- represented Scottish perspective, one that seeks to capture the personal and social role creative projects can have, whilst remaining critical of the arts being instrumentalised as a tool for integration as per policy definitions.

Narrated from the perspective of Artist-Researcher, this thesis tells the story – or one version of the story – of a practice-based study that took place over eighteen months. Adopting an affective register, the thesis begins with an in- depth analysis of the intersecting themes and concerns that contextualise the research, before embarking upon an exploration that covers issues of representation, collaboration, and agency. It goes on to offer an interpretation of what might be referred to as the politics of arts practice with and by refugees, concerning itself with hospitality, reciprocity and affect. The final section of the thesis examines how individuals reflected upon their personal experiences of the projects and theorises the role creative practice has in supporting the (re)construction of individual and community identities. The thesis finishes with an in-depth analysis into the emotional labour that was made visible when attention was paid – through an arts-based methodology - to the question ‘what does integration look and feel like’.

The research asserts that individuals integrating in Glasgow are positioned in a unique space between two, often oppositional, national narratives. Moreover, it reveals an ongoing tension between Scotland’s welcome response and the everyday, and structural challenges faced by those labouring through processes of integration. This thesis seeks to illuminate how arts projects can intersect with this tension, and also where they can offer alternative forms of engagement that allow individuals to escape the confines of categorisation, as well as the burden to (re)tell their story, and instead focus on discovering imaginative and bold forms of aesthetic expression.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Applied arts, refugee performance, forced migration, representation, authorship, integration, new Scots, arts-based methods, practice-based research, hospitality, refugee-refugee solidarity.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
L Education > L Education (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Education
Funder's Name: Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Supervisor's Name: Phipps, Professor A. and Mulvey, Dr. G. and Christie, Mr. G.
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Catrin Evans
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81798
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 10:42
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2020 11:10
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