Building Communities in Tense Times: Fostering Connectedness Between Cultures and Generations through Community Arts

Caroline Beauregard; Joëlle Tremblay; Janie Pomerleau; Maïté Simard; Elise Bourgeois‐Guérin; Claire Lyke et Cécile Rousseau (2020)

American Journal of Community Psychology

65(3-4) | pp. 437-454

The worldwide upsurge in social polarizations generates intercommunity  tensions that challenge the social fabric of urban neighborhoods and undermine the relationships between their members. Because community arts can foster the creation of connections between people that would not have been in contact otherwise, they are often perceived as being powerful tools to foster community resilience. Through a multiple case study approach, this article describes how three community arts projects, carried out in two socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods of Montreal (Canada), influenced the social relationships between participants from diverse ethnocultural backgrounds and generations. Using participant observation and arts‐based data collection methods (photography, video, and arts productions), the authors examine how the three projects illustrate (a) the interactive processes at play, (b) the transmission and hybridization of stories and images of adversity and resiliency, and (c) the access to a collective voice.