In the Spirit of Inclusive Reflection: Reflections of a Cultural Expeditionist
Mount Saint Vincent University
My work is an authorial experiment, a dialogic and integrative engagement with Inquiry. As both the participant and the researcher, I mine my Sufi and South Asian worldviews, heritages, and lived experiences to un/re/dis/cover their influence on my perspectives and practices of pluralism and inclusion in Canadian contexts. I define and apply a culturally-reflective framework for my particular approach to lifelong learning. I interpret the wisdom of peh'chaan, an Urdu word for a cultural way of being, of bringing together and observing (inter)connections, into a practice of inquiry. I employ peh’chaan to create a research space where traditional wisdoms blend with contemporary ones, cultural voices mix with scholarly ones and where arts practices (e)merge as representations of (inter)connection. I bring together these elements to present a layered work of intention and meaning in a cohesive whole. In combination, the elements speak to many contexts in which peoples and perspectives can become under- or misrepresented when othering practices become normalized in institutions and in daily life. I employ peh’chaan as a practice of resilience, solidarity, and hope. I create narratives of four fictional female characters. Their stories reflect how they negotiate themes of identity, culture, and belonging in their everyday lives and how it becomes necessary to develop—sometimes creative—ways to address the gaps as they encounter them. I liken my research to a type of cultural expedition and/or a journey of exploration, where research, reflection, experience, negotiation, and experimentation occur simultaneously.
Arts-informed research , Sufism , Peh’chaan