Reflecting on Participatory Projects

Too often, when we try to recount what happened in a participatory media project, we tell a one-dimensional, or at least a linear, story. We forget to include the informal encounters, the conflicts, the breakthroughs.  In order to reflect on a participatory process, we suggest that you begin by thinking about key turning points in your process. This might be a key decision, a conflict, a revelation, a new method or team player. It might also include a dinner or walk with someone that shifted the dynamics in a project. List these moments (at least five) and write up some details about why they stand out to you. Then review the different prompts in the sections “your people” and “your process” and see if other moments emerge. Each of the sections is populated with lots of questions that are intended to help you recall or map the parts of your process you have not had time to consider or don’t want to forget. You may decide to do this exercise in the company of a collaborator or ask them to do it on their own and then compare the differences.


How did you work?

How can we be increasingly reflexive about the decisions we make in any collaborative or research endeavour?

With whom did you work?

Reflecting on a finished project is an ideal time to consider who got involved, who stayed involved and what forms of engagement this project facilitated.