This paper demonstrates that arts-based learning, when combined with digital technology, can foster community development and identity construction. By using the internet to build artistic dialogues that transcend time and distance, relationships are undertaken with people we might not otherwise encounter and supportive online communities can be established. The internet has provided a forum for marginalized individuals to find their voices, a place where identities can be fluid and words can be witnessed. Therefore, when integrated into a structured arts-based learning environment, digital technologies can lead to greater understanding and acceptance of one’s own identities. Using the innovative model established in the pilot project “Queer Connections” as the primary example this paper offers insight into how levels and layers of communication in human interactions may influence societal change, how collective creation can be used to access deeper levels of understanding and critical consciousness, and how arts-based interpersonal learning can be used as a catalyst to foster community development and identity construction.
|Keywords:||Theme: Human Representations and Communications, Video Dialogue, LGBTQ, Arts-based Development, Transformative Learning, Identity, Online Communication, Community Building, Youth Work, Participatory Video, Theatre|
Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada