Developing arts-based participatory research for more inclusive knowledge co-production in Algoa Bay

Mia Strand, Nina Rivers, Rachel Baasch, Bernadette Snow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper outlines the development of an arts-based participatory research (ABPR) methodology in the context of marine spatial planning (MSP) in Algoa Bay, South Africa. Exploring participatory research approaches where Indigenous and local knowledge holders are engaged co-researchers, this research investigates how contextualised photovoice and digital storytelling can offer a creative platform for alternative knowledge systems to be conveyed and eventually included in ocean governance processes. This paper is a reflection on the processes of developing these methodologies in a transdisciplinary research team and the importance of contextualising, incorporating aspects of social learning, reflexivity and ‘slowness’ in the unravelling, meshing and ravelling processes of knowledge co-production in ocean sustainability research. The study finds that the use of photography and storytelling can support the coming together of different ways of knowing the ocean and coast, necessary to produce contextually-oriented approaches to more inclusive area-based ocean management. The characteristics of ABPR, being conducive to aspects of social learning, slowness and reflexivity have been helpful in contextualising and learning ways in which we can reimagine ocean and coastal management in Algoa Bay. The study concludes that people involved in knowledge production need to unlearn historically colonial methodological processes and ways of producing research, and rather encourage methodological advances that better collaborate with Indigenous and local knowledge holders in contextually relevant sustainability research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCurrent Research in Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2022


  • storytelling
  • photovoice
  • social learning
  • knowledge co-production
  • ocean governance


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