Visual Voices: Using arts and creativity to make change

Led by expert facilitators , you will experience new ways of addressing important questions through creative activities!

We live in unprecedented times. Such times demand an array of approaches for understanding and making change. This experiential workshop introduces the unique approach of ‘visual voices’, a powerful research tool for illuminating challenges and creating dynamic change. During two sessions you will develop photographic projects about core social challenges that matter to you; dig deeper into visual research and representations’ powerful impact; and learn how visual methods can be used towards changemaking in a community, organization, or place.

Led by expert facilitators you will experience new ways of addressing important questions through creativity and have opportunities to critically - and practically - reflect about the experience of how creativity can foster change.

Over two workshops you will:

  1. Learn an innovative method (visual voices) that will allow you to: engage, research, enhance social impact, and plan projects.
  2. Develop or enhance creative, planning, and team-working skills.
  3. Create a piece of experiential, ‘affective’ photographic work, with the opportunity to share or publish it if you wish
  4. Connect or reconnect with the values and purpose of being a Changemaker.

[This is not a photography course - and no photographic or visual training is necessary. But you will need a camera, either stand alone or on your phone]

This course is organised by Changemakers Faculty Members, Tim Archer, Faculty of Education and Dr Maja Spanu, Homerton College and Department of Politics & International Studies.

PLACES ARE LIMITED ONLY TO 20 PARTICIPANTS and will be based on first come first served! So please register to secure your place now!



The workshop will be split into three parts. Each part will be experiential, dialogic, and reflective.

A) The first morning session (23rd January 2021) will take place on Zoom by bringing the group together towards reflection and the ambitions of having a positive impact on society. Here the group will be introduced to the methodology of visual voices. This is a great method you can use either for your own personal research at Cambridge or as a community innovator towards planning projects.

B) We will meet again the following weekend, but you will be asked to practice the visual voices method with your phone cameras during the week, either indoors or outside, on selected topics.

C) The second session on 30th January will be spent discussing the visual voices pictures you took on the selected theme decided by you. We will then create a synthesis of these pictures towards a general discussion concerning projects and/or a creative piece that could be shared more widely. The resulting projects and/or creative piece will be unveiled at Homerton College and hosted on the College website. The session will culminate in a discussion about the utility of creativity in addressing 21st Century challenges.

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Profile of Facilitators:

Dr Maja Spanu

Maja works at the intersection of academia, creativity and policy. She is a Research Fellow in International Relations at Homerton College and Affiliated Lecturer at the Department of Politics and International Studies in Cambridge. She is also a professional trainer for Cambridge’s Public Engagement Unit. Over the years, Maja has been involved in many creative projects – from co-directing an initiative promoting international justice through the arts to currently doing her own film and podcast series on the consequences of wars in the former Yugoslavia. Maja is passionate about making a positive impact on society. She thinks that academic knowledge and expertise should not be kept within universities but can be used to foster social change. She is currently setting up her new social venture which will connect researchers with professionals from the public and private sectors, supporting specifically the inclusion of women, sexual and ethnic minorities. Maja loves cinema, travelling and discovering new food. In her spare time, she practices boxing and yoga.



Tim Archer

Tim Archer is a final year PhD candidate and Hughes Hall College scholar at the University of Cambridge. Tim is a mediator and peace educator in both international post-war settings and UK and Canada based violence intervention programmes. His current areas of focus are working with young men on notions of masculinities and peace, and teaching Peace and Conflict studies at various Universities to frontline workers, such as teachers or peaceworkers. Central to Tim’s approaches to education are holistic self-exploration using alternative epistemologies, reflexivity, and Affective group encounters. He was the chair of CPERG form 2016-2018 and has co-authored several chapters and articles on peace education. Outside of professional capacities Tim is an avid outdoorsman, Search and Rescue volunteer, martial artist, and tea drinker.



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