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Working as facilitators and co-researchers: Opportunities, tensions and complexities in educational participatory research

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>16/04/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Educational Action Research
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date16/04/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In this paper, we transcend the boundaries of conventional academic writing and embrace the African philosophical concept of conversationalism to create an honest and decolonial space, albeit imperfect, in which we can talk about the messiness of participatory research. Engaging in a dialectical conversation with each other, we share our reflections on and respond to four lines of questioning related to: onto-epistemology; axiology; methodology; and temporality within participatory research. As we converse, we draw on lessons learnt from three different photovoice projects that involved working with marginalized youth or within marginalized neighborhoods and communities. As co-researchers and authors located across the Global South and North (two of us working in South Africa and the other two in the UK), we draw on our photovoice experiences to discuss the complexities and negotiations inherent in educational participatory projects. By doing so, we contribute to debates surrounding the unfulfilled promises of photovoice projects, whilst acknowledging the fluid spaces it creates for intercultural, more inclusive meaning-making. Our dialectic conversation shows that, despite being fraught with ideological tensions that are amplified by the fundamentally diverse and morally plural world we live and research in, photovoice projects can be worthwhile if we are critically reflexive before, during and long after the research is done.