Arts-Based Research in the Social and Health Sciences: Pushing for Change with an Interdisciplinary Global Arts-Based Research Initiative

Nancy Gerber, Elisabetta Biffi, Jacelyn Biondo, Marco Gemignani, Karin Hannes, Richard Siegesmund


The impact of current trends in technology, digitalization and mass media on our global culture raises questions regarding the responsibility and ethics of research decisions in contemporary social and health sciences. Embedded in the dominant paradigms, these trends subtly affect our worldviews, our valuation of the human condition, and the nature of socio-political discourse. In such critical post normal times (SARDAR, 2009) radical imagination (HAIVEN & KHASNABISH, 2014) and epistemic activism, embracing non-dominant modes of knowledge production in the social and health sciences, becomes a necessity. Arts-based research (ABR) is resonant with the onto-epistemological perspectives and methodologies necessary to challenge and disrupt current unilateral and hegemonic paradigms underlying decaying societal and geo-political constructs. In this article, we advocate for the development of a global network of ABR scholars and stakeholders invoking a radical imaginative philosophy and arts-based research methodologies as an approach to social activism and epistemological change.


arts-based research; arts-informed research; radical imagination; social activism

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Copyright (c) 2020 Nancy Gerber, Elisabetta Biffi, Jacelyn Biondo, Marco Gemignani, Richard Siegesmund

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