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Storylistening’ as a methodology for peacebuilding among young survivors of conflict and their communities in Colombia.

Fowler-Watt, K. and Charles, M., 2022. Storylistening’ as a methodology for peacebuilding among young survivors of conflict and their communities in Colombia. Methodological Innovations. (In Press)

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Working on a participatory arts project with former child soldiers and young survivors of conflict in Colombia’s indigenous Nasa community led to the development of an alternative to the qualitative interview, which we call ‘storylistening’. This methodology shaped the production of an animated documentary, El árbol del amor (The Tree of Love), which explores the world of forced recruitment and child soldiering. The storylistening concept contains elements of auto/biography, in that it engages with memory and identity, where space and time are important. It is therefore presented as a methodology to access the everyday and young people’s interpretations of it, as well as a way of communicating this to a wider audience within the community and even society as a whole. Storylistening emerged from observational and ethnographic processes, and emphasises the idea of sharing and listening. Based on Durkheimian notions of the socioemotional, storylistening shows how sharing emotions contributes to creating, maintaining and strengthening social bonds. This is in direct contrast to storytelling, which can assume a hierarchical or ‘top down’ quality. Storylistening is therefore an active process and has a shared impact on the ‘listener’ and the ‘teller’, whereas storytelling is an individual process that does not always carry the guarantee of being listened to. Storylistening creates an immersive, equitable space in which individuals’ autobiographical narratives are voiced, listened to and heard, which in chorus forge social bonds and inclusion that can inspire change. For the individual, storylistening offers the potential of catharsis, while for the community, it offers the opportunity for collective reflection. In the particular case of former child soldiers, storylistening engenders effective reintegration and more broadly fosters reconciliation, which underpins peacebuilding at the community level. Key words: Colombia; child soldiers; storylistening; peacebuilding; community narrative

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Colombia; child soldiers; storylistening; peacebuilding; community narrative
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:37734
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Nov 2022 16:22
Last Modified:02 Nov 2022 16:22


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