Why do we Document and Archive?
Dialogue believes that documentation of, and archived materials about, Community Performance practice contributes a wealth of knowledge to the field. As a significant way of knowing about the field, such resources act as a tool with which meaning and understanding about Community Performance are constructed, produced, contributed, shaped, revealed, communicated and disseminated.
Documentation and archived materials are a means by which examples of Community Performance practice may leave a legacy and can be used as learning and reference materials for those who did not participate in the original project. However, in being involved in the production of knowledge about the field, documentation and archived materials do not merely reflect upon the past. Documentation and archived materials also have the potential to play an active role in the future development of Community Performance practice.
This is the driving philosophy behind Dialogue’s documentation and archival programmes.
Our Documentation Programme
Dialogue is engaged in facilitating participatory documentation projects with Stakeholder Partners, creating new materials about their ongoing and new projects, in order to contribute original resources about Community Performance.
While there is a wealth of knowledge and skill within the Community Performance field worldwide, the sporadic nature of documentation efforts means this is often not formally recorded. Whilst this does not stop organisations and individuals from producing high-quality work with local communities, it can inhibit communication and collaboration with others working in a similar field. Practitioners and performers can feel isolated, under-resourced, misunderstood or unrepresented, and efforts can sometimes be unnecessarily duplicated.
Dialogue was founded to fill this gap. We use documentation as the basis of collaboration with Community Performance stakeholders around the world.
For more information about some of our documentation projects with existing Stakeholder Partners, please click here.
Our Archival Programme
Dialogue is engaged in archiving existing materials about past and ongoing projects from various outlets, in order to collate existing resources about Community Performance.
Whilst our documentation programme creates new materials, about our partners’ ongoing and new projects, our mission is not to reiterate the knowledge and skills contained in other pre-existing resources, but rather to build upon them. Our archival program was created to ensure this bedrock of pre-existing materials is easily available to our partners.
Existing resources can be difficult to access for individuals or organisations that do not have the capacity or wherewithal to do so. Dialogue believes curating and providing this information will be beneficial to the network community.
What can we achieve with Documentation and Archived Materials?
We believe that by curating and sharing knowledge and skills about Community Performance through documentation and archived materials, Dialogue can support and build the capacity of organisations and individuals worldwide who currently use, or who are interested in using, Community Performance in their work.
Specifically, the documentation that Dialogue co-creates with our Stakeholder Partners, alongside the resources which we collate on our archival programme, will be used to develop and foster an international collaborative network of stakeholders in which we:
- Undertake Advocacy work, promoting, defending and representing the methodology of Community Performance to stakeholders.
- Act as a Community Noticeboard, keeping stakeholders abreast of recent news, events and job opportunities in the field.
- Offer capacity building Consultancy to assist stakeholders in developing strategy, implementing projects and undertaking Monitoring & Evaluation processes.
- Offer Education and Training opportunities, whereby stakeholders can learn from the documented models of practice.
- Act as an Evidence Hub, supporting stakeholders to create better documentary evidence of their work in order to achieve better internal & external Monitoring & Evaluation materials.
- Act as a Networking Hub, whereby we can identify and support possible relationships and areas of collaboration between stakeholders.
- Act as a Resource Bank, to assist stakeholders in conducting their work effectively, so that efforts already undertaken elsewhere are not unnecessarily duplicated.