Creative Responses to Social Suffering: Using Community Arts and Cultural Development to Foster Hope

Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


In this chapter, we examine community arts and cultural development (CACD) as a method for working with Aboriginal communities to begin to respond to issues that stem from social suffering produced by conditions of oppression. We outline the theoretical underpinnings of CACD, locating its roots in the liberation paradigm. We emphasise the importance of disrupting singular stories and seek to expand ways to foster community-engaged action to promote liberation. An example of CACD practice with Aboriginal people in Western Australia, the Narrogin Stories project, is used to illustrate the practice. The example describes the various processes of consultation and negotiation, and the collection and re-articulation of individual and group stories through creative output. The case study also includes a description of the production and staging of a soundscape that was important to the longer term process of transforming a community narrative of loss, pain, and feuding, to foster hope. The chapter concludes with a listing of key principles taken from this project for community engagement and knowledge production.


Community arts and cultural development (CACD) Liberation Soundscapes Social suffering Collaboration Trust 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Health and BiomedicineVictoria UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Sustainability Policy InstituteCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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