Creativity and Joy

Creativity is about to become a big part of my job. We’ve just been granted ethical approval for ‘Work Package 2’ of the Suicide in/as Politics projects, which is a slightly boring title for a very exciting part of the research where one of my colleagues and I get to run creative workshops inspired by the findings of ‘Work Package 1’.

Now, I’m a creative person on a day to day basis, I paint (water colour), I make cards, I enjoy creative writing, I’ve attended a zine workshop or two, I sew (clothes and embroidery), I knit a lot, I used to work in make-up. In short, I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like, but (and it’s a big but) most of my crafting and creativity is individual and a lot of it is to fulfil a purpose rather than to communicate. For example, last year I painted my dad a boat… because he likes boats. I am currently making myself a jumper… to wear. Learning how to engage crafting and creativity in research is different! So I’m currently trying to work out how I will do this. Lucky for me along with my pal Harvey, back in January we ran an event which we have now named Queer Joy, which offered an opportunity, as queer early career researchers, to engage creatively with our academic practices.

We had the second meet up of the group yesterday and it was so joyful! During the event I wrote a poem, and after the event inspired by the brilliant work of H Howitt (if you haven’t seen their incredible presentation from Lesbian Lives, you can check it out here), I turned it into my first ever stop motion video! It was made super quickly on my phone and is very basic, but having done the first one I’m already really excited to do the second, and I am so grateful to our Queer Joy group for providing such a wonderful, inspiring space!

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