Gabriel Hoosain Khan profile

Gabriel Hoosain Khan

Gabriel Hoosain Khan

University of Brighton (2023)


Dr Helen Johnson


Art, resistance, and healing: on the potentials of using the Creative Change Laboratory (CCoLAB) among queer youth in Brighton


In a world defined by stark inequalities, arts-based methods are useful for imagining alternatives to social challenges, as a tool for building community, and as a practice for healing and wellbeing. In the southern African context, art and arts-based methods have been used as a response to colonial and apartheid atrocities, and as a mechanism for imagining just and more equitable ways of being (Seidman & Schaer, 2011). Since 2012, the Creative Change Laboratory (CCoLAB) and its predecessor, the Creative Resistance Toolkit, have been used to empower marginalized youth to respond to oppression in southern Africa (Marnell & Khan, 2016). This included creating safe art-making spaces for queer youth at several sites in southern Africa. In 2019, CCoLAB was piloted as an updated set of tools for using arts-based methods to work with marginalized youth. Research on these community arts interventions have highlighted how arts-based methods can contribute to youth activism and community building. While initial research on these interventions focussed on empowering youth to respond to homophobia (among other forms of oppression), research recently shifted focus towards the healing qualities of the CCoLAB methodology (Volks, Khan, & Alves, 2021). For example, exploring how arts-based methods can support marginalized youth within contexts of trauma and psychological distress. The proposed research seeks to explore the opportunities and limitations of offering a methodology developed in the global south among queer youth in the UK. Through mobilising art methods’ potentials to imagine new and different possibilities, this participatory research will seek to establish how arts-based interventions such as CCoLAB, can heal and build resilience among queer youth of colour in Brighton.