NCRM videos

Nafhesa Ali - Meaningful research through creative writing: storying sexual relationships


Nafhesa Ali from The University of Sheffield presents 'Meaningful research through creative writing: storying sexual relationships' (Nafhesa Ali and Richard Phillips) at Methods Fair 2019. Abstract: Through creative writing, it is possible to explore questions and themes that more direct and formal methodologies tend to miss. This is particularly the case when research involves participants who, for personal, cultural and religious reasons, may not be comfortable with direct questions about certain subjects. This presentation describes the methods employed in a project investigating sexual relationship attitudes and practices among young British Muslims. For many Muslims, sex and relationships are difficult subjects to talk about, whether in everyday life or in interviews. This study worked around the challenges of getting people to talk about this taboo subject by employing creative research methods, which circumvented these difficulties. Specifically, the project involved creative writing workshops, in which young Muslims worked across a range of media - animated film, short fiction, blogging and playwriting - and in this way explored and presented their experiences, hopes, fears and dreams, in each case on the subject of sexual relationships. This presentation includes a spoken element, in which we explain our project, and a series of short films, which present some of the fruits of this work. In these films, young Muslims read from their creative writing.