What is Ethno Research?
Research can be defined as the systematic investigation of a subject to establish new information and/or reach new understandings. Ethno Research is a three-year project exploring the subject of ‘Ethno’. As an independent research project, we ask critical questions concerning Ethno’s claims regarding what it does. The claims reflect the context of its growth, its history, ethos, and philosophical ideals. Therefore, our purpose is to illuminate new understandings of what Ethno does to support future growth and development.
As a collaborative team, three lines of enquiry helped shape the investigation: (1) pedagogy and professional development, (2) participant experience, and (3) reverberations (impact on people beyond the gatherings). We focus on the experience people have as we think that it is within the ‘stories’ of those that have engaged with Ethno, either as a participant, artistic mentor, or organizer, that the meaning of Ethno will reveal itself. We see this approach as reflective of the ethos the Ethno ‘project’ advocates. All our research goes through a board of ethics.
Following the findings from year one and the impact the Covid-19 pandemic had on the data collection sites (Ethno gatherings), years two and three had Ethno Research working within the following focused areas:
- Arts and Culture: Led by Roger Mantie and Laura Risk
- Pedagogy and Professional Development: Led by Andrea Creech and Maria Varvarigou
- History: Led by Sarah-Jane Gibson and Lee Higgins
- Ethno Organizers: Led by Dave Camlin
- Wellbeing/Trauma Informed Practice: Led by Catherine Birch
- Sustainability and COVID-19: Led by Sarah-Jane Gibson
- Ethno USA: Led by Huib Schippers.
Why is Ethno Research important to the Ethno programme?
Ethno research exists to develop our knowledge and understanding of the Ethno World. It provides a critical tool to help navigate the complexity of human engagement in ‘non-formal’ peer-to-peer learning, ‘intercultural exchange’ and ‘traditional’ music-making. Without Ethno Research, those involved may have to rely on intuition, other people’s authority, and sometimes just luck.
‘Ethno’ is JM International’s program for folk, world and traditional music, aimed at young musicians (13-30). Founded in 1990 in Falun, Sweden, Ethno’s mission is to revive, invigorate and disseminate our global traditional musical heritage. Today Ethno is present in over 20 countries, running a series of annual international music camps, workshops and concerts that promote peace, tolerance and understanding.
The three-year research project is made possible through a grant from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, as part of a wider programme of development for Ethno World.