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Using art and storytelling in addressing social exclusion in the city : the Illustrated Journey Youth Project Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Title: Using art and storytelling in addressing social exclusion in the city : the Illustrated Journey Youth Project Vancouver, BC, Canada
Author: Lopez, Alejandra Bravo
Subject Keywords art, storytelling, youth
Issue Date: 2011-07-25
Publicly Available in cIRcle 2011-12-09
Series/Report no. University of British Columbia, Master's Graduating Project
Abstract: The Illustrated Journey Youth Project is about sharing stories, building trust, and learning creative and healing ways to reflect on identity, culture, language, belonging and self. A group of immigrant and refugee youth paired with artists, illustrators and community facilitators shared stories about their homeland, about their journey to Canada and about their ongoing journey and challenges in their new home, through drawing and comics. This project for and by immigrant/refugee youth was hosted by La Boussole francophone community center, the only social service agency for the francophone community in Vancouver, BC. The Illustrated Journey Youth project aimed to address issues of isolation, language differences, trauma and discrimination through art and storytelling. The youth participants of the project met once a week with the artists/facilitators for four months and learned how to create a comic book with a personal story. By the end of the project the stories were printed in a comic book and shared at a community exhibition that potentially raised awareness about what assets immigrant and refugee youth bring and the challenges they face. I played multiple roles in this project coordinating, implementing and evaluating with a participatory and community based approach. As a Mexican feminist woman and a newcomer to Vancouver, I hope that with projects like this one, we give voice and honor the stories of newcomer youth by learning from them. By documenting the project through the comic books and the process in this report I seek to inspire more spaces for unity within diversity and potentially influence programs and policies that would enhance inclusive communication across differences. In this report I reflect on how art and storytelling catalyze understanding of evolving identities, where our past and our present can be reconciled to reach endless possibilities in the future. I look at how using art in community development projects can strengthen self esteem and positive self awareness to open dialogue (s) and reinvent ourselves with others and through others.
Affiliation: Community and Regional Planning (SCARP), School of
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/39598
Peer Review Status: Unreviewed
Scholarly Level: Graduate

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