Participatory dissemination : bridging in-depth interviews, participation, and creative visual methods through Interview-Based Zine-Making (IBZM)
- Geographical Society of Finland
In this article, I make the case for an underexplored research practice – participatory dissemination – and reflectively introduce a new research method, IBZM (Interview-Based Zine-Making), which I developed in my fieldwork research on the gentrifying neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, in New York City. Participatory dissemination is a practice that engages research participants in the interpretation of preliminary research findings, and through art-based methods, leads to the coproduction of visual outputs and research communication for diversified audiences, especially those beyond solely academic readers. Participatory dissemination has received little attention within academic debates thus far. The paper addresses this gap in the literature by outlining the rationale and potential for incorporating participatory processes within research dissemination, even where so-called traditional (non- or less-participatory) research methods are used. IBZM follows the technique of zine-making (that is, the practice of cutting, rearranging, and creatively pasting printed materials in a new pamphlet), but instead of using media texts and pictures as raw materials, IBZM works with transcribed texts from researcher-conducted interviews. The aim is to let the research participants (zine-makers) engage with the perspectives of the interviewees and find assonances, disagreements, and connections with their own thoughts. The output is a collectively produced zine to be further disseminated. IBZM offers a means of combining traditional detached research methods, such as interviews, with participatory and creative/visual research methods. As such, participatory dissemination can be helpful in bridging literatures and debates on participatory and traditional research methods, providing new avenues for researchers working primarily with the latter to incorporate participatory elements into their research process and outputs.