E-book launch – 7 November 2016

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Please join us for the launch of our e-book: People’s Knowledge and Participatory Action Research: Escaping the White-Walled Labyrinth.

This will be your chance to meet the authors and editors.  We will be joined by a special guest, Michelle Fine, co-founder of the Public Science Project and critical participatory action researcher at The Graduate Centre, City University of New York.

Numbers are limited so booking is essential.  All those who register will be sent a free copy of the e-book. To help us distribute printed copies of the book to people who could not otherwise afford them, we are asking for a small donation.

Event details

People’s Knowledge and Participatory Action Research: Escaping the White-Walled Labyrinth

Date: Monday 7 November 2016 at 7pm

Location: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX

To book a place and/or make a voluntary donation please email us at: help@nomad-uk.org

The event is hosted by Peoples Knowledge at the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University and Nomad.

About the book

The world of research run by universities and other institutions is dominated by a culture that is white, upper-middle class and male. When people from communities that have previously been excluded are asked to take part in research – even participative research – they are seldom able to do so on equal terms. Instead of being supported to draw on the expertise that they have gained from their life experience, they find themselves trapped in a ‘white-walled labyrinth’.

People’s Knowledge and Participatory Action Research opens up a new realm of understanding, one that has been created by authors who are mainly non-academics, and who bring their own perspectives on the production and validation of knowledge. The book attempts to address some of the tensions between traditional and more participatory approaches to research by exploring three questions: What kinds of oppression can take place when people who experience exclusion work with professional researchers? How can knowledge be truly co-produced in a spirit of mutual learning and respect? What are the most promising approaches to build future alliances for creating a ‘people’s knowledge’ that treats equally the professional researcher and those whose expertise comes from their life experience? The book ends with some signposts for transforming participatory and action-orientated approaches to research in order to achieve social and environmental justice.

The book will be published by Practical Action Publishing as an e-book (November 2016) and in print (January 2017). You can request a free copy of the e-book by contacting us.


Introduction Editorial collective

  1. Learning at the University of Armageddon Anonymous contributions
  2. Making connections in the “white-walled labyrinth” Mayra Guzman, Cedoux Kadima, Grace Lovell, Asha Ali Mohamed, Ros Norton, Federico Rivas and Alpha Thiam
  3. Examining our differences Asha Ali Mohamed, Asma Istwani, Beatriz Villate, Emilia Ohberg, Eva Galante, Fatma Mohamed, Ijaba Ahmed, Hinda Mohamed Smith, Lucy Pearson, Mayra Guzman, Salma Istwani, Shanti Sakar, Susanna Hunter-Darch and Tamanna Miah
  4. Cultivating an anti-racist position in post-race society Jasber Singh
  5. Poems Chris JaM
  6. A puzzling search for authenticity in academia Lucy Pearson, Javier Sanchez Rodriguez and Asha Ali Mohamed
  7. Community media and cultural politics on Tyneside Hugh Kelly with Graham Jeffrey
  8. A civil rights activist reflects on research David Clay
  9. LiverNorth: combining individual and collective patient knowledge Tilly Hale
  10. The original citizen scientists Editorial collective with paintings from Haiti by Michel Lafleur
  11. Signposts for people’s knowledge Tom Wakeford

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