Nelli Stavropoulou is a participatory arts-based researcher and a creative facilitator with a background in sociology, visual culture, and migration studies. Her work explores and re-visits the intersections between storytelling, self-representation, and creative expression. She's joined the School of Psychology and Counselling at the Open University as a Post Doctoral Research Associate supporting the European Commission Horizon 2020-funded project New ABC - Networking the educational world: Across boundaries for community-building.
Prior to joining the Open University, Nelli completed her doctoral project 'Telling stories, re-imagining lives: an inter-disciplinary examination of arts-based methods & life-stories as a vehicle for self-expression among refugees & asylum seekers' at the department of Sociology at Durham University, using participatory arts and biographical methods. Her Leverhulme Trust-funded research project was supported through Durham University's Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC).
Nelli's research interests focus on processes of storytelling, narrative expectations of 'asylum stories', lived experiences of forced displacement, and arts-based methodological approaches. Her focus on visual methods (Photovoice, digital storytelling and participatory video, among others), stems from her six-year experience as a creative producer and workshop facilitator allowing her to combine collaborative creative processes with Participatory Action Research (PAR) principles.
Nelli is the curator of Moving Worlds special film programme for Refugee Week, and a proud Trustee of Durham City of Sanctuary and mental health arts charity, Chilli Studios.