The article from a critical race theory standpoint draws on data from life history interviews with undocumented Mexican-Americans, and live performance work with Mexican-American artists, to reflect on the methodological issues raised by qualitative research addressing the ways in which critical arts–based research affects research participants as artists, subjects, and audience. To date, arts-based research literature has tended to concentrate on theoretically framing a performance piece within a specific genre (and its acclaimed advantages) and subsequently describing in detail the nature of a performance, an approach which at times means the impact of a performance is accepted uncritically, if not taken for granted. Our intent in this article is to draw on postperformance interviews and correspondence with artists, subjects, and audience members to critically reflect on participant impact, an impact which in this article we are calling a performance of provocation.
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