The Role of Creative Practices in Countering Hate and Extremism

Project Details


Populism and alt and far right movements are evidently on the rise and with it the spread of extremist ideologies amongst young people in the UK. Especially at risk of adopting extremist narratives are those young people who feel disaffected from their surrounding communities. While hate crimes and terrorism are separate phenomena, the link between them has been increasingly recognised, as evidenced by the peaking of hate crimes after major terror incidents. Government policies of prevention and counter-radicalisation - primarily the Prevent strategy - have been widely criticised by academics, CBOs and advocacy groups. Key point of criticism refers to the stigmatisation and alienation of certain groups, particularly Muslims (Kundani 2014; Abbas & Awan 2015; Lewis and Hamid 2018; David Taylor, 2018; Pettinger 2017). Another point highlights the complexity and multifaceted nature of extremism (either radical Islam or right-wing ideologies) and advocates adopting a more multidimensional approach to counter extremist initiatives: building on the expertise of diverse sectors, and moving beyond an emphasis on reporting of hate crime incidents or suspected acts of radicalisation by individuals (Scrivens & Perry, 2017). The government's two year review of its Action Against Hate Plan, published in October 2018, has identified that while there has been a welcome increase in reporting of hate crimes, one of the key challenges remains "to address those who are receptive to intolerant views". The government's current agenda emphasises the need to challenge harmful narratives before they develop into hatred; to challenge prejudice in wider society, including the media; and the need to increase understanding of hate crime to inform policy-making and ensure effective delivery. This project aims to address these challenges by exploring the potential of creative/artistic practices - such as filmmaking, music, theatre and others - as a method to tackle the spread of discourses of hate and extremism amongst young people. Using creative practice research methods - at the first stage filmmaking - it seeks to develop in-depth understanding of young people's perspective on hate and extremism and to examine the transformative role played by creative practices in enabling the development of counter discourses and social inclusion. The project brings together scholars and stakeholders from the areas of creative industries, sociology, civil services and criminology to develop a participatory-action research (PAR). The TRIF funding is requested for two types of activities that are designed to lead to a wider research project and an external funding bid. 1. A small-scale feasibility pilot study - a collaborative film project with a group of young people (age ranging from 13 to 25), who are outside of education, training or employment and susceptible to racist discourses and hate crimes. 2. To hold a two-day sandpit event with a targeted invitee list of stakeholders and academics, in order to develop a network of collaborators for an external funding bid. The external bid would seek funding for a wider comparative research project with a national/international scope and a range of creative practices. This with an outlook to impact on policy and stakeholder practices.
Effective start/end date1/08/1831/07/19


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