Volume 21 Number 8 February 6, 2020

Can I? Dare I?

Ari Sivenius
University of Eastern Finland, Finland

Iina Friman
Joensuu Youth Workshop, Finland

Citation: Sivenius, A., & Friman, I. (2020). Can I? Dare I? International Journal of Education & the Arts, 21(8). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.26209/ijea21n8.


This article describes the role of an arts-based research project in the lives of young people participating in a youth workshop. The participants shared stories about their past, present and future with words and pictures. We sought to answer the question: What is the meaning of looking at one’s own life story in the context of a communal art project? We familiarized ourselves with a youth workshop via staff interviews, observation and through documents. The goal of the project was to produce a work of art in eight weeks. During the two months, the young people in the project described their lives in written assignments, made paintings of their lives so far, wrote working diaries and were interviewed. The paintings together formed a larger whole, which was on display at a shopping mall. The study opens new points of view by analyzing the meanings produced by those who participated in the project.

Visual Abstract

This article is available in PDF format.


The International Journal of Education & the Arts currently serves as an open access platform for scholarly dialogue. Our commitment is to the highest forms of scholarship invested in the significances of the arts in education and the education within the arts. Read more about our mission…


IJEA holds strong commitment to research in interdisciplinary arts education. Our editors are respected scholars from different arts fields working together to achieve our high standard. Read more about editors…