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Expertise

Elena Butti’s expertise covers a variety of topics, including youth violence at the urban margins, children’s rights and transitional justice, ethnographic storytelling, research in high-risk settings, youth engagement and participation, youth, peacebuilding and transformation.

Expertise

Youth violence at the urban margins

My research at the University of Oxford uncovers the trajectories of adolescents who get involved in drug-related criminal organisations in Colombia’s urban margins in Colombia. I have conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork in the region of Antioquia.

Youth participation and engagement

I am interested in innovative approaches to better include young people in research and practice. I have used various participatory visual techniques in my fieldwork, and I am currently leading a project with the UNICEF Office of Research on this topic. 

Transitional justice and peacebuilding

How can the most excluded youths actively contribute to building peace? What does peace mean from a youth perspective? And how can children's rights be effectively safeguarded during transitions? These questions are central to my work. 

 

Children, adolescents and their rights

I have conducted a variety of projects aimed at achieving better recognition of children's rights in fragile and transitional contexts, with a particular focus on Colombia.

Research in high-risk settings

Building on my field experiences in Colombia, I have written, taught and released a training video on how to conduct in-depth and long-term fieldwork with vulnerable populations in high-risk settings.

Ethnographic storytelling

I am passionate about finding novel ways of communicating my research beyond an academic audience. My documentaries, pictures series and the development of a graphic novel based on my research are examples of this.