The Arts in Society International Award for Excellence

The Arts in Society Journal Collection offers an annual International Award for Excellence for new research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of The Arts in Society Research Network.

Award Winner for Volume 15

Challenges in Digital Storytelling: The Emergence of Adapted Video Narrative Methods for Highly Marginalized Storytellers

“Strong Houses, Strong Voices” is an arts-based research project which uses co-created first-person video narratives to present the lived experiences of a group of South African post-natural builders currently constructing houses in informal settlements. Post-natural builders use a combination of traditional and repurposed building materials to create low-cost, environmentally appropriate houses and community-based structures. The methodology draws from the digital storytelling (DST) methodology pioneered by the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS). This article examines two video narrative methods which were adapted from DST methodology to support inclusion of low-literacy research participants in narrative-based research contexts. The study extends arts-based research approaches into the realm of data and interpretation and responds to place-based and literacy challenges faced in working with a DST methodology.


Christine is the Principal of Visionary Thinking, with over 20 years of experience in intercultural facilitation and community engagement. Visionary Thinking is a multidisciplinary consultancy that uses visual communication and strategic thinking to raise individual and collective capacities, empower community members to take collective action on issues that are important to them, and positively affect communities’ positions within the context of larger social institutions.

Before setting up her own consultancy, Christine completed a Doctor of Philosophy degree through the faculty of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology. Christine’s multidisciplinary research focused on developing a model for co-creative community engagement through sharing the stories of the research participants. The research participants were a group of highly marginalised South Africans who engage in a building practice that uses repurposed waste materials, integrated within traditional mudbrick building techniques, to provide inexpensive, climate-appropriate, shack-replacement shelter. The research outputs have been adopted by the participants, and the grassroots organisation that supports them, to present an alternative model for human-centric, climate-resilient housing that is strongly connected to southern African cultural identities.

Christine has also worked extensively with First Nations Australians as the founding CEO of the Aboriginal Art Centre Hub of WA (AACHWA), and in Native Title, land management, and economic development with the National Native Title Tribunal and the Central Land Council.

Past Award Winners

Volume 14

Climate Change Art: Examining How the Artistic Community Expresses the Climate Crisis

Shauna Doll and Tarah Wright, The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp. 13–29


Volume 13

Teaching from the Left: Visual Literacy and Social Transformation for the Twenty-First Century

Kristin Vanderlip Taylor and Lynette Henderson, The International Journal of Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 11–22


Volume 12

So, Sue Me: Legal Actions as a New Staging Ground for Performance Art

Courtney Davis, The International Journal of Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp. 25–30


Volume 11

Between Two Earthquakes: Gazing Beyond Kant’s Sublime in Humanitarian Disasters

Sally Cloke, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp. 1–18


Volume 10

The Philosophy of Localness and the Arts: A Focus on the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona

Aleksandra Kunce, The International Journal of Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.1–18


Volume 9

Interrogating Women’s Experience of Ageing: Reinforcing or Challenging Clichés?

Susan Hogan, The International Journal of Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.1–18


Volume 8

Facsimile and Originality: Changing Views of Classical Casts in Arts Education and Art History

Joseph Basile, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.11–30


Volume 7

Art in a Hidden World: Creative Process and Invisible Anomaly

Dawn-joy Leong, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp.29–39


Volume 6

The Handed Self: Reaching Toward Individuation

Cherie Redwood, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 6, Issue 5, pp.221–234


Volume 5

Public Memory, Private Truths: Voices of Women and Visual Narrative in Post-apartheid South Africa

Annette Blum, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.13–32


Volume 4

The Arts in a Time of Recession

Marque-Luisa Miringoff and Sandra Opdycke, The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.141–168