Áine Brady

Áine Brady is Community Innovation Practitioner

Project Title: ‘Using the Arts to Empower Communities to Break Cycles of Silence’

Queens University Belfast IAA

Áine Brady shares the impact of a creative approach in helping her community open up about their lived experiences: ‘Digging Deep’ The role of creative methodologies in addressing community trauma

Project Summary:

Historical challenges related to the Troubles, deprivation and urban planning have contributed to the pervasiveness of substance use in the Market community in Belfast. Intergenerational trauma, a significant factor in substance use, further contributes to this problem with silence perpetuating its impact. This research aims to break these cycles of silence, exploring the potential of cultural intervention to address substance use issues.

The project involves partners from various disciplines. Phase 1 involves community engagement through ‘photovoice’; leading to an exhibition showcasing origins and challenges of substance use locally. In Phase 2, exhibition photos will assist in co-design process for a community-led, drama-based intervention. Phase 3 comprises a drama performance. These cultural outputs will inform development of a creative toolkit to empower communities and facilitate discussion around complex health issues. This creative communities project recognises the importance of co-creation in responding to the public health crisis of substance use.

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