Moving Home: The Art and Embodiment of Transience Among Youth Emerging from Canadas Child Welfare System
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Youth who have exited the child welfare system are among the most vulnerable in Canada. Ample research in social sciences disciplines outside of Geography have illustrated the significant likelihood of poorer life outcomes for former youth in care across a variety of indicators. Combining geographies of mobilities, childrens geographies, and emotional geographies, this research seeks to understand the embodied experiences of former youth in care as they relate the transience experienced in care in the past and lived on in the present. Using arts-based, participatory and Indigenous methods this comparative study collaborated with 15 co-researchers from Toronto and Whitehorse ages 18-30 with lived-experience in care. Representations of bodies were complex, partial, and most often created by female-identified co-researchers. An interesting finding was positive representation of and identification with nature and natural elements, while homes and depictions of them hardly present in comparison. Hope for the future and other youth in care emerged as strong theme, and this hope connects to resilience as practiced by co-researchers as a conscious form of resistance. Methodological findings include the compelling nature of the data created by opening up artistic medium to be self-selected. Lastly, policy suggestions for housing and transition supports to be more understanding of the mobility of these young people are discussed.