My research explores co-creative approaches with young people to develop comprehensive sexuality education materials in Aruba. I’m interested in studying ways of knowing and following a decolonising approach to dominant forms of sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) knowledge within the international development sector. My research will consider how creative dialogic spaces influence knowledge production, whilst reflecting on concepts of participation, power, and co-creation.
Guided by a decolonising philosophy and centred around participatory action, the research will employ creative methods with young people. This will include workshops using arts and performance-based methods, including storytelling, photovoice and zine making.
Background: I have 5+ years experience working in the SRHR and youth sectors. Before starting this PhD, I was the global technical gender and SRHR manager at Girl Effect, where I supported their adolescent girl facing programmes in the Eastern and Southern African region. During my Erasmus joint Master’s degree in Global Education Policy for Development, I specialised in comprehensive sexuality education (CSE). I partnered with the sexuality education programme provider Dance4Life to investigate the challenges young people face in accessing SRHR services and disclosing cases of gender violence in Barbados. I have since published an article in the Journal of Visual Studies exploring the application of Photovoice methods in my research.
Research as activism; creative methods; co-creation; participatory action research; decolonising methodologies; transformation and praxis-based research; critical pedagogies; sexuality education; youth participation; rights-based approaches; SRHR as activism and resistance; storytelling; normative discourses around gender and sexuality in the Caribbean.
My PhD research project is funded through the ESRC Grand Union Doctoral Training Programme and is a collaborative studentship with International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and Open University. I am working in partnership with the Family Planning Association (FPA) of Aruba.