Bryn Ludlow, Ph.D. is an African Canadian artist, researcher, educator, and creative producer. She is an expert in digital storytelling, video elicitation, and body mapping research methods.
Bryn’s artistic, research, and pedagogical practice centre around the following objectives: ensuring equitable access to digital technology, improving digital literacy for, and with underrepresented populations in community-based participatory research and practice, and creating meaningful and memorable arts-based ambient experiences that enhance quality of life for creative producers and the public. Currently, Bryn is developing a series of mobile, immersive, Augmented Reality (AR) experiences for mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to support people with resocialization after isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From 2020–2022 she produced an online, interactive ballet in memory of George Floyd that employs scenographic principles with AI-generated imagery, and digital storytelling.
Bryn’s doctoral research at York University (October 2022), “Multidisciplinary, and international perspectives on digital stories by youth formerly in foster care in Canada” combined a study of digital storytelling production methods, reflexive praxis, and storytelling facilitation strategies with insights into how researchers can collaborate to improve support for various stakeholders. Bryn completed a Bachelor of Fine Art at OCAD University (2010) in Integrated Media for which she received the Sir Edmund Walker Award for Proficiency in Integrated Media, and a Master of Arts at McMaster University (2012) in Health and Aging. In her Master’s program she explored the use of the arts-based method, “body mapping” with geriatric inpatients receiving daily haemodialysis for End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. For this work, she received the McMaster University Master of Arts thesis award (2012).
As a graphic artist, Bryn works with clients in the arts, health, and social service research sectors to create communication materials that address gaps in health equity services for, and with underrepresented populations. To support this career interest, she completed a graduate-level certificate in Health Equity and Diversity (2017–2019) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, in-partnership with the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, Office of Continuing Professional Development, and a graduate certificate in Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation at York University (2020). In 2006, she founded the “Canadian Artists Against Sexual Assault” (CAASA), which now exists as an online resource directory for survivors and secondary survivors of sexual assault. Since launching, the site has had over 300,000 visitors.
Research and Teaching Positionality Statement
“The present sheds a backward light(William James, Pragmatism, 1907)
on the world’s previous processes.”
As an African Canadian artist, researcher, educator, and creative producer, I acknowledge the intersectional (Crenshaw, 1989) and translocational (Anthias, 2008) dimensions, contributions, and limitations of the research and creative outputs that I produce. The artistic, research, and teaching experiences (graduate and undergraduate) that I have had over the past ten years reaffirm the notion that it is important to look outside of oneself to society, in order to understand oneself in-relation to reality. The ontological position of non-controversial relativism (Gillett, 1998) acknowledges the influences of science, the arts, culture, history, and society together. The epistemological approach that complements this perspective is non-controversial constructivism, which “asserts that beliefs are constructed by the mind” (Gillett, 1998, p. 5).
Thus, I seek to facilitate a respectful, culturally safe, healthy, and supportive learning environment for all students and participants, especially first-generation and mature students, 2SLGBTQIA+ and BIPOC+ students and participants, and students and participants who are refugees, and new immigrants, in order to enable the safe and open exploration and expression of thoughts and ideas.
This research and teaching positionality statement represents my commitment to work with an anti-oppressive, anti-racist framework, integrating Afrofuturistic paradigms of “endarkened storywork” (Toliver, 2022) with Indigenous ways of knowing (Tuhiwai Smith, 2021), and collaborative, experiential, tacit (Polyani, 1962), and sustainable approaches to innovation to identify issues affecting society today.