Artful Public Pedagogy and its Role in Transforming Justice. A Case Study of the DAH Theatre in Belgrade

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Byrne, Narelle (2021) Artful Public Pedagogy and its Role in Transforming Justice. A Case Study of the DAH Theatre in Belgrade. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The role of artful public pedagogy implemented by DAH Theatre in the formerly war affected region of Serbia is considered in both the exegesis and creative component, which comprise this thesis. The exploration draws on the teaching philosophies of Maxine Greene, whose expertise in the “awakening approach” is profiled. Greene advocated a “Wide Awakening” solution to challenges in modern day education. Following Greene, the study advocates the position that by challenging uncertainty and fear through the use of creative art, we can begin to engage in the process of assuaging past grievances. To explore Greene’s theory, a case study based on narrative monologues, testimonials, observations and researcher participation including DAH Theatre interviews with directors and founders of the DAH Theatre is presented. The exegesis includes a photojournalistic visual document to demonstrate the effectiveness of applying public pedagogy based on creative engagement. The research argument is that public art engagement can help shape rigid systems that undermine human rights and that Artful Public Pedagogy enables positive pathways that foster a more meaningful and democratically balanced social structure. The argument will be supported by a case study of how DAH Theatre employs Artful Public Pedagogy to draw together people with diverse experiences in order to address important cultural and social values. In doing this, DAH theatre invites its audience to engage with matters that are confronting to all involved. This process shares similarities with transformative justice objectives as it links to transformative leadership theory that underpins social justice: DAH Theatre provides leadership in political activism as it achieves peaceful outcomes by using art to empower and educate community.

Additional Information

PhD by creative work

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3606 Visual arts
Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy
Current > Division/Research > College of Arts and Education
Keywords public pedagogy, public art engagement, DAH Theatre, Serbia, Maxine Greene, awakening approach, creative art, case study, law, photojournalism, social responsibility, propaganda, art education, creative PhD, PhD by creative work
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