The Great Margin (2020) [single-component output with contextualising information]
- Submitting institution
Bath Spa University
- Unit of assessment
- 33 - Music, Drama, Dance, Performing Arts, Film and Screen Studies
- Output identifier
- H - Website content
- Supplementary information
- Request cross-referral to
- Output has been delayed by COVID-19
- COVID-19 affected output statement
- Forensic science
- Number of additional authors
- Research group(s)
- Proposed double-weighted
- Reserve for an output with double weighting
- Additional information
- Stemming from research led by Soyinka since 2016, this research addressed a lack of inclusive models for
collaborative writing. It engaged with a growing body of research seeking to foster empathy and equality within the arts. The summative output, The Great Margin, is a curatorial project underpinned by two new pedagogical resources: Dare to Write? and The Writer’s Cycle.
The research asked: how does our understanding of writing from the margins, and of interpretive practices, shift through collaborative curation? Over 20,000 writers participated. Despite differences, all were familiar with marginalisation, due to longstanding circumstances or Covid-19.
Soyinka organised the project into six strands with sub-questions. Using an action-research methodology, she
developed an interactive transmedia framework and invited participants to experiment with different models
of writing, phenomenology, and interpretation. The outputs meditate on isolation. More significantly, by
drawing together voices, writing, fieldnotes, and co-participatory video-making across platforms, ‘writing from
the margins’ is revealed as a civic process of interpretation, reciprocity, and sense-making.
This research highlighted the performativity of multimodal writing and demonstrated how transmedia forums
can disrupt traditional literary approaches to editing and interpretation. To facilitate lockdown filmmaking,
Soyinka used online archives, finding scant footage representing participants from diverse backgrounds. Here,
the research contributed to wider understandings of collective memory, emphasising the cultural significance
of researchers working ‘alongside’ publics to replenish archives with more inclusive expressive forms.
Overall, the findings demonstrate ongoing challenges for curators wishing to support writing from the margins. The lack of diversity in our public archives reveals wider imbalances in perception that limit creative praxis, especially for those already facing the most severe and persistent forms of isolation. Ultimately, the research created a rhizomatic space at once varied and unified, where many perspectives matter and coexist, and where participants can meaningfully contribute to reinterpretations of culture.
- Author contribution statement
- English abstract