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Reshaping policy: Creativity and Everyday practice in an Arts Organisation in Mexico City

Jaramillo-Vazquez, Alejandra (2015) Reshaping policy: Creativity and Everyday practice in an Arts Organisation in Mexico City. PhD thesis, University of York.

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This research is concerned with how policy becomes practice. It examines the ways by which a policy is reshaped through its encounter with people, architecture and facilities, documents and specific realisations in art projects. In particular, it is concerned with how a left-wing arts education policy, one that aimed to emancipate disadvantaged people, worked in practice – including how it sometimes ended up running counter to its stated aims. The policies that are followed here were first devised by the Leftist government in Mexico City between 1997 and 2000, and then expanded through various revisions and new policies in the following years. As part of the initial policy, an arts organisation, Faro de Oriente – Lighthouse of the Orient – was constructed in a deprived area in the East of Mexico City to give ‘access’ to ‘arts’ and opportunities for ‘creativity’ for the local population. This thesis provides an in-depth study of how this specific arts policy was experienced on the ground between 2011-12 by the various participants in FARO –permanent staff, temporary teaching staff and also students who participated in arts workshops. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, including participant observation, interviews, archival research, and photographic documentation, the thesis charts the ways in which particular aspects of the policy were mobilised and to what ends, and how these were reshaped through practice. This thesis highlights the significance not only of intentional actions by people but also of implements of work, such as the architecture of the FARO main building and its physical condition, the role of teaching staff and artistic projects. Inspired by actor-network and assemblage theory which emphasise the interactions of human with non-human actors and processes that shape entities, the thesis maintains that a policy concerning arts education and creativity refers to the processes, practices and meanings of creativity that participants produce at FARO through everyday practice. A policy is an unfinished social process shaped by technical concepts, materialities, implements and reshaped through the practices of participants. Empirically, this research provides understanding of the everyday dynamics inside FARO, highlighting contradictions and ambiguities for the experience of students. This thesis contributes to debates suttounding policy and creativity through the processes of the everyday life in an arts organisation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: policy, assemblage perspective, actor-network theory, creativity
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.682739
Depositing User: Ms Alejandra Jaramillo-Vazquez
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2016 12:04
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12401

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