EducationTahmena Bokhari is currently pursuing the Masters of Social Work degree at the University of Toronto with a specialization in Diversity and Social Justice, interests in International Social Work, and courses in the areas of Community Development and South Asian studies.
Social Work ExperienceTahmena has 10 years experience within the field of social work including positions ranging from frontline to senior management, as well as countless hours of volunteer time on committees, boards and on community projects. She has worked across various areas including violence against women, sexual assault, health, immigration, settlement, poverty, diversity/inclusivity/gender, and has worked with governments, non-governmental organizations, and community-based groups locally and abroad. She has also worked with various diverse communities across the GTA such as the Chinese, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean as well as internationally, including United States, Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and more. Currently, Tahmena acts as a consultant and facilitator to organizations and governments on diversity and inclusivity related initiatives.
Using Art in Social Work
Here is what Tahmena says about using art in her work, “Having worked in the field for so long and learning/trying many methods for advocacy and change at a larger level, I have started to recently use a new medium, art, mainly photography. I have worked with children and adults in different parts of the world on a model I have developed called Train-the-trainer through photography, which can be used in health promotion, community development or increasing community awareness. This can be used as a form of research to inform the field at large as well as a tool for social work intervention in direct service. I find that photography (and art as a whole) provides a creative outlet for many who may otherwise never have this opportunity, a medium for expression across".
Adrienne Chambon is Professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She teaches in the Social Justice and Diversity specialization. She has been interested in the constitution of narratives in texts, through dialogues, and the processes of emergence and transformation that take place in encounters. This strand of her work has led to writings that drew on literary theories and also literary texts. A long-standing strand of her work has been on immigration, policies, life stories and in particular experiences of refugees and settlement services. A third strand has been her writings on post-structural thought regarding power relations, administrative activities (e.g. Essays on Postmodernism and Social Work, edited with Allan Irving; Reading Foucault for Social Work, edited with Allan Irving and Laura Epstein, Columbia University Press). More recently, it is through the broader spectrum of art works and art practices that she has come to interrogate and expand knowledge in social work. After experimenting with teaching formats and some writing, she started the Heuristics of Art Practices for Social Work program of research, and is seeking ways to develop forms of solidarity with social transformative art practices and art organizations. Her current project Heuristics of Art Practices for Social Work Program can be found here.
Aisha Chapra (M.S.W., R.S.W.)
Aisha is currently a Youth Settlement Counsellor at Access Alliance Multicultural Health and Community Services in Toronto, and also works as a Research Assistant for the *Coming Together* project. At the
time the *Coming Together *project was conducted, she was Social Work placement student at Regent Park Community Health Centre. Her interests include community based, participatory, and arts-informed research with marginalized populations. Aisha co-facilitates photography based groups with immigrant and refugee youth living in Toronto.
Matthew Chin (Hon. B.A.)
Matthew Chin is a Research Assistant at the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. He holds an Honours B.A. in International Development Studies with an additional Major in Socio-cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto. Since, 2006, Matthew has been involved in the arts-based, community-based participatory action research project, "Coming Together: Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support". More recently, he was Co-Coordinator for the collaborative initiative "Homelessness – Solutions from Lived Experiences through Arts-Informed Research" and is currently involved in research exploring immigration, employment and "Canadian experience". Matthew is also a member and peer facilitator at the Asian Freedom Arts School and is interested in learning more about democracy theatre techniques and how these practices can be used for research and social change from anti-oppressive perspectives.
(Faculty, School of Social Work, McMaster University / Ph.D. (ABD), Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto)
Ann has recently begun a tenure track appointment at the School of Social Work at McMaster University. Her research interests centre on questions related to social work and disability, in particular, intellectual and developmental disability (ID/DD), and are rooted in many years of social work practice with people with disabilities in the Community Living and the Child Welfare sectors. Her work includes attention to the intersection of disability and child welfare, maltreatment, and foster care; Aboriginal status; bereavement; and self-advocacy. She is particularly interested in exploring the inclusion/exclusion of people with ID/DD (especially people who do not speak or communicate in typical ways) in social work research and knowledge building and how these concerns might be addressed through the integration of broader conceptualizations of "voice" and knowledge and alternative research methods such as art, photography, film, and life stories. Ann’s Ph.D. research, entitled The Right or Responsibility of Inspection: Public Photographs and People with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities, was an arts-informed interpretive inquiry into how people with ID/DD would interpret and respond to photographic representations and means of knowing? And, how could they use photographs to problematize these (dis)abling re-presentations? A group of adults with ID/DD critiqued a number of public photographs of people with ID/DD, drawn from newspapers, charity advertising, service agencies, social documentary and photographic ‘art’. Using PhotoShop, the group then re-imaged and re-imagined the photographs (or took their own photographs) to reflect their critique or to put forth photographic images they preferred or which spoke to the issues relevant to their lives. The transformative potential of such work was explored through engaging both disabled and non-disabled audiences in dialogic encounters with the group and their work. The group also developed a website, www.whatswrongwiththispicture.ca, to highlight their work, speak to their issues and concerns, and network with other people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The launch of this site on March 18th, 2008, was supported by the Arts and Social Work Research Initiative and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. Working with Ann, this group has recently begun a second research project – using Photovoice and digital storytelling to articulate issues important to their lives as people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
For 25 years, Pam has been active in the education, art, health and women’s communities. Her research, performance and teaching have focussed on embodiment in art practice, the “body” in art, women and health, disability studies, women’s studies and feminist art education with publications in journals such as: Studies in Art Education, Resources for Feminist Research, Matriart: A Canadian Feminist Art Journal, FUSE, Fibrearts, Parachute and presentations in conferences such as: the Feminism and Art Conference (Toronto), History of Art Education Symposium (Penn State), and Moving Bodies, Embodying Movement: Exploring the Rhetoric of the Body (State University of New York, Brockport).
She has taught for various institutions such as: Sheridan College, George Brown College, Ryerson Polytechnical University and the University of Toronto. She has, this past year, been Course Director for Thinking through Gender: Feminist Perspectives in Women’s Studies, University of Waterloo and for Visual Culture and Gender and Drama & Arts Education at York University, Graduate Program, Faculty of Education. She is also a Visiting Scholar for the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto where she directs Women in Action, an interdisciplinary program in arts practice, arts-informed research, women and activism and curates exhibitions. She also teaches at the Toronto School of Art and the Art Gallery of Ontario.
As a performance and visual artist she has exhibited and performed across Canada. This past year, she performed Body as Site/sight for York University (The Congress), Toronto and her new work-in-progress Canc(h)er for Collision 2006, University of Victoria. Her paper, A Performance: The Body grotesque as political site/sight? was presented at Interfaces, Carleton University and her research on transgressive pedagogy at Lesley University, Cambridge, Mass., both in May 2007. This year her new book “Walking the Table” : Dramatic Teaching (Editor.York University) was also published. She will be premiering a new work. A Body without Organs for FADO International and will also be teaching as a guest lecturer for the Universities of Bristol and Nottingham-on-Trent in the UK in 2008.
Manuela Popovici (M.A., M.S.W., Ph.D. Student)
Manuela holds a BA in Journalism and Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria, and a MA in International Relations from the International University in Japan. Manuela's main research focuses on transformative spirituality and social work. Her other interests, broadly situated within an anti-oppressive framework, include international social work, human rights and social work, post-conflict community building, and social work education and epistemology. She is also interested in the confluence between the creative process and social action; she has initiated a poetry reading series at the Faculty of Social Work, and is contributing to the set up and maintenance of the Student Art Wall in the Faculty building.
Josie is the Co-ordinator of Community Health Workers at the Regent Park Community Health Centre. She completed her Masters Degree in Social Work at Factor-Inwentash, Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. Josie incorporates art based methods in her work with low-income and homeless women and runs the “Adelaide Women’s Art Studio” a community art and economic development program. She was the co-investigator of the research project “Coming Together: Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support” which focused on the social networks of women and transwomen who were homeless. She also was a part of the co-collaborative team for the project; “ Homelessness: Solutions from Lived Experiences through Arts-Informed Research” which brought together eight innovative projects and showcased the art produced by each study and produced a policy document on the need for inclusion and accountability in our work with homeless clients.
Izumi Sakamoto is an Assistant Professor of social work at the University of Toronto. A former Fulbright scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Psychology from the University of Michigan with a graduate certificate in Culture and Cognition (cultural psychology). With over 15 years of social work experience, Izumi’s research focuses on empowerment, anti-oppression and the mobilization of marginalized communities. After completing her first social work degree in Japan, Izumi received training and practiced as a music therapist. In this capacity, she led a music therapy group with children for two years, the case study of which informed her master’s thesis. More recently, for the past 5 years, she has been conducting arts-based research in the context of community-based participatory research (CBR/CBPR). Izumi was the lead researcher of the community-based, arts-based research project, "Coming Together: Homeless Women, Housing and Social Support", conducted in partnership with peer researchers and community agencies, Regent Park Community Health Centre, and Sistering - A Woman's Place. For this project, Izumi and the research team received the Community-Based Research Award of Merit Honorable Mention in 2007 awarded by the Centre for Urban Health Initiatives and the Wellesley Institute. Izumi has also led the SSHRC-funded Collaborative of eight arts-informed, community-based research projects involving peer researchers, community agency staff and academics, "Homelessness - Solutions from Lived Experiences through Arts-Informed Research". In October 2008, this Collaborative launched a joint art exhibit, website and policy report. For the past 6 years, Izumi has also been conducting SSHRC-funded research with skilled immigrants focusing on employment challenges, negotiation of identities and structural changes needed, for which she is using stories and popular theatre techniques to explore tacit dimension of cultural knowledge. For Dr. Sakamoto’s full bio, please refer to: www.socialwork.utoronto.ca/faculty/bios/sakamoto.htm
Dr. Vick is a recent graduate of the doctoral program at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. She has worked for several years as a clinical social worker in post-secondary and rehabilitation settings with persons living with disabilities. Her doctoral thesis "(Un)Settled Bodies: A Visual Phenomenology of Four Women Living with (In)Visible Disabilities uniquely utilizes (non)art photography to explore how disabilities that shift in visible and invisible ways are experienced in women's everyday lives. Her research interests relate to qualitative research methods, specifically phenomenological and hermeneutic approaches. Specific areas of interest include women, chronic illness, (in)visible disability, and the embodiment of multiple identities as well as intersections between disability and social policy.
Publications for ASWRI include:
Vick, A. (2007). Theoretical-Reflexive Practices of Photography. Arts and Social Work Research Inititiave. Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.
Natalie is a mid-career multimedia artist, curator and arts educator. She has had exhibitions nationally and internationally at the Toronto Alternative Art Fair International (TAAFI), Caribbean Contemporary Art Centre 7 in Trinidad, Zsa Zsa Gallery, Spadina Museum, and John B. Aird Gallery. She has had select video screenings at Inside Out Film and Video Festival (2003, 2004, 2007), Mix Film and Video Festival in New York (2004), and The Pleasure Dome Festival (2005). She won the Audience Choice Award for The Locks Narrative at Mpenzi Film and Video Festival (2006) and in 2007 she exhibited a multi media installation Moko Jumbie Dance for Nuit Blanche. Natalie has curated a number of art and new media exhibits such as the critically acclaimed The Hero Project at WARC Gallery and the I Represent show at ASpace. She was an Advisory Member of the New Africa Consultation Committee at the Royal Ontario Museum – a committee consulting on the creation and development of the Galleries of Africa. In March 2006, Natalie was nominated for the 2006 K.M. Hunter Interdisciplinary Arts Award for her web project Kinlinks (www.kinlinks.net) and received the New Pioneers Award for contribution to the Arts in Toronto. Natalie has been the recipient of support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils.