Art for Social Change (ASC) is a community-based creative practice associated with social justice and the empowerment of communities. Inspired by thinkers from the Global South, these emancipatory practices have become broadly accepted, seen as contributing to community participation, and as a way of engaging with minoritised communities. This paper focuses on the processes of ASC in the context of a colonial settler society and women of colour. From a feminist perspective from the Global South and using case studies across different geographies that centre of women of colour, this paper examines how ASC unfolds at the intersection of complex racial relations, where art making and story-telling shape unique possibilities for personal and community connection.
In 2019 and 2020 a research team at Victoria University examined, in partnership with several local councils, far-right dynamics in three local municipalities across Victoria. A particular focus of the study was to examined local factors that may make some people more or less vulnerable to far-right mobilisation. How did far-right groups use local concerns and grievances for their own radical agenda and how did local stakeholders, in particular community and civil society groups and local government respond? Based on extensive empirical fieldwork, the study explored, among others, how structural factors, such as urban planning and segregation, interact with identity-related issues, such as local pride and belonging, and in doing so either fuelling social division and polarisation or advancing a progressive agenda of inclusion and social justice.
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