In 2018 in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough, Canada), we invited 17 activists, artists, and academics to share stories of intergenerational memory work – including land-based practices, ceremony, arts, and archiving – as ways of resisting erasure and making change. We grounded this research-generation workshop, Manifesting Resistance: Intergenerational Memory Work across ‘the Americas’, in storytelling from our gathering place, on Michi Saagiig territory; our methods included guided conversations, small group interviews, collaborative media making, and embodied workshops. As two settler researchers on a research team of eight (of different backgrounds, career stages, ancestries, and connections to Turtle Island (North America)), we centred a relational research ethics, drawing from feminist and postcolonial writings on anti-oppressive research and decolonial writings on refusal, relationality, and care. Despite our critical intentions, this research process was ethially complex. Drawing on fieldnotes and recordings, and inspired by scholars like Audra Simpson, we explore two key expressions of research refusal, how and why participants refused this research, and the connections between being refused and gaining consent. We illustrate how these research refusals generated critical knowledges, communities, processes, and spaces, and how negotiating consent in the context of these refusals (by slowing down, listening, and shifting our process) offered important challenges to institutional ethics.
Consent, research refusal, decolonial methodologies, relational ethics, indigenous-settler relations
Chazan, M. & Baldwin, M. (2020) Learning to be refused: exploring refusal, consent and care in storytelling research. Postcolonial Studies. DOI 10.1080/13688790.2020.1781324