Beyond Place: Diasporan creative placemaking


  • Ruth Smith Independent Researcher


diaspora creative placemaking, community arts, Somali women’s identity, narrative participatory photography


This paper explores the case of the Somali diaspora and an artmaking initiative with young Somali women to offer an example of how art educators can engage with creative placemaking with community members belonging to a refugee diaspora. By considering placement rather than displaced aspects of diaspora and attending to the interplay of difference and identity negotiation, this paper offers strategies for crafting spaces for aesthetic engagement including exhibiting difference, artmaking as interruption, and resistance to the present. 

Author Biography

Ruth Smith, Independent Researcher

Ruth Smith recently completed her doctorate at The Ohio State University in Arts Administration, Education and Policy. Although she resides in Indiana with her family, she continues to work as the program coordinator for Ohio State’s Online Master’s in Art Education and as an independent researcher and community arts educator with Somali women in Columbus, Ohio. 


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Special Call - Creative Placemaking - 2017