This was a collaborative research between Victoria Okoye and Spread-Out Initiative NGO on public space in the Nima community. This was a research working with SOI students on how the kids use public space with the use of photography, mapping, and storytelling.
The research was led by Yussif Aminu Larry (Founder of Spread-Out Initiative) and Victoria Okoye (PhD Student at the University of Sheffield) with the help of the SOI Executive Team. They facilitated the research workshops with the SOI students. Mustapha facilitated the workshops with the kids to make sure they ran smoothly. Fatimatu helped with the collection of their stories, and compiled them into a booklet. Larry was in charge of making sure everything around the workshop was run well.
This was a research conducted with 17 SOI students and six SOI team members as facilitators. This research was started in January through July 2019 in the Nima community, and the highlights were PhotoVoice, body mapping, group mapping, and storytelling activities. In the beginning, the kids went out to take photos and wrote captions on them and then presented their photos. In the body mapping, they came together to produce a map that shows their individual experiences on the public space. In the group mapping, they showed their go and no-go areas in Nima. They also made a group map of public space improvements for Nima. In the storytelling, the kids used their experiences in the public space to write stories and poems, and some of them performed their stories.
We developed a proposal and budget for funding for a community event (tent in the street event) to share the research and successfully got GBP 850 (5,670 Ghana Cedis) from the University of Sheffield. We organized the event with the SOI students. At the end, the kids had a tent event on the street for their own recreational activities.
This research exposed the kids to a lot of opportunities in terms of communication, using the creative arts, courage, and working together as a team, which led them to produce public space improvements for Nima. At the event, the kids presented their work to the community which allowed the community to see what SOI has impacted on the kids’ through their photography, artwork and storytelling.
In July 2019, we developed a presentation together on our research and presented it at the Ghana Studies Association Conference at the University of Ghana, Legon.
By Fatimatu Mutari and Mustapha Adamu