From 12-14 August, 2020 The Factory collaborated with the Public Engagement Unit of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU) in Ho Chi Minh City. Together we co-facilitated a 3-day invite-only workshop titled ‘Walking the Fine Line: Engaging and Respecting Community’. Invited artists, curators, social science researchers and university lecturers, from Saigon, Hanoi and Sydney, participated in critical discussion concerning the parameters of ethical practice when engaging, representing, soliciting community, towards the realization and showcase, of artistic projects. Presented with the 4 pillars of clinical scientific research, alongside several Vietnamese case study from OUCRU that demonstrated innovative methodologies of successful community engagement, this workshop was a unique opportunity to compare what possible artistic pillars could be devised as guideline for arts workers in their necessary working with diverse communities – particularly considering the sensitivities surrounding ethnic minority, disenfranchised or culturally stigmatized groups. Issues of intent, consent, transparency, authorship, flexibility, response-ability and much more were raised as key concerns in response to particular local artistic projects shared.

From the perspectives aired at the workshop, we have compiled a series of general considerations for our audiences and producers to refer should they wish. Download here.

Walking the Fine Line: Engaging and Respecting Community’ was held in conjunction with ‘Re-Aligning the Cosmos’ initiative, co-sponsored by The Factory, Prince Claus and the Goethe Institute; co-facilitated by The Factory and Fulbright University, Vietnam; with the support of Public Engagement, Oxford Clinical Research Unit, HCMC.