To read this content please select one of the options below:

Creativity as collaboration: Personal ideas, experiences and solidarity in an arts organisation in Mexico City

Alejandra Jaramillo-Vazquez (Universidad Iberoamericana, Lomas de Santa Fe, Mexico)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 25 April 2018

Issue publication date: 16 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relations and processes by which creativity is assembled, and how this mode of creativity responds to tensions and difficulties in activities concerning “arts education” and “creativity” in a community arts organisation in Mexico City. It shows how ethnographic research can provide qualitative understanding about “creativity” on the ground, i.e. through people’s participation in ordinary activities and projects in arts organisations.


The methodological approach was ethnographic in data collection and analysis. Participant observation was conducted for 11 months (November 2011/October 2012), as well as archival research and photographs.


The findings of this research highlight how, in the face of personal difficulties and tensions people respond creatively through collaboration. The former refers to people’s difficulties to gain control over their lives, e.g., finding a stable job. The latter refers to people’s tensions to produce an artistic project, where they negotiate with institutional expectations about the project and their own experiences and reflections.


While there is an increasing interest of policy makers for fostering “arts education” and “creativity” in an instrumental way, this paper shows how creativity emerges through the intensity of their personal ideas, experiences and solidarity.



The comments and questions from Sinead O’ Sullivan, Jeremy John Gunson, Sharon Macdonald and the Journal’s Reviewer are gratefully acknowledged. Thank you for their helpful advice to improve this paper. Research for this paper was funded by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) under Grant 177256.


Jaramillo-Vazquez, A. (2019), "Creativity as collaboration: Personal ideas, experiences and solidarity in an arts organisation in Mexico City", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 130-145.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles