Kevin Healey

To Be Seen and Heard: Truth as a Creative and Relational Process

Partner: Liese Zahabi

This project grant will support me in integrating a series of arts-based exercises, culminating in a semester-long video production project, into my spring 2022 offering of CMN 535: Digital Democracies. This course, which I’ve taught since fall 2012, focuses on questions of digital media and democracy in a primarily U.S. context. I have found that arts-based exercises such as digital and print collage, poetic transcription, and black-out poetry are powerful methods by which students can move beyond habitual patterns of thought to establish more nuanced perspectives on contentious civic issues. While I usually employ arts-based exercises in my courses on a small scale, for discrete learning modules, this grant program will allow me to work in collaboration with Liese Zahabi to integrate students’ arts-based artifacts into a semester-long video installation piece, similar in style and content to the two pieces we have had on display in the UNH Art Museum this past semester. In the spring 2022 semester, our overarching project will engage the question of what constitutes truth, and how we can continue in its shared pursuit, in the context of rampant social media-fueled disinformation and socio-political fragmentation. The final products will include an original music and video installation/piece; selected discrete artifacts (collage pieces, poems); and an accompanying reflective essay.