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New study to give health care workers space to recount their experiences of racism and the pandemic

Date: 29/07/2020

A new research project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will give health care workers space to recount their experiences of racism and the pandemic, visualising their traumas and those of the communities worst affected by the crisis.

'NURSING NARRATIVES: racism and the pandemic' will be led by Sheffield Hallam’s Professor Anandi Ramamurthy and will use a Critical Race theory framework and an arts-based approach that centres emotion as a resource for memory and recovery.

Using storytelling as a methodology and by creating artistic outputs including a documentary film through collaboration with Migrant Media film collective, the research aims to challenge exclusionist discourses and centre the insights of those on the frontline as a crucial asset in creating significant change.

Professor Anandi Ramamurthy, Principle Investigator on the project, said:

“The story of BME nursing staff and the story of the pandemic are entwined with complex histories of racism which can only be fully understood through amplifying the experience and voice of those who have been marginalised.”

This research is not simply focussed on collecting evidence of racial discrimination, but on the impact of long-term discrimination on people’s approach to a crisis.

The project aims to deepen societal understanding of the critical contribution of BME nurses and care workers, celebrate their achievements as well as recognise their experience of discrimination in order to critically reflect on what lessons we can learn to create a more equitable society and an NHS that is able to deliver the best patient care. 

Viewing the Pandemic as a Portal (Arundhati Roy 2020) through which the direction of our society can be reshaped, the project aims to create a space for nursing staff to offer solutions and re-envisage the future.

For information about what UKRI are funding in this area, please visit: Our work on the impact of COVID-19 within Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.

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