PhD Candidate - ESR 1
Background and Research interests
Silvia Veiga-Seijo is an occupational therapist from a rural village in Galicia, Spain. She received her degree in this discipline (BSc, 2016) and her Master’s Degree in Health Care and Research (MSc, 2017) at the University of A Coruña, Spain. Furthermore, she completed a postgraduate degree (UNED, 2018) in education in non-violence, specifically focused on children and young people.
Since beginning her journey as an occupational therapy student, she has been keen to understand further the transformative value of everyday doings in people’s lives and advocate for professional development. Silvia has worked as an occupational therapist with different populations living in vulnerable situations grappling with social and occupational inequalities, such as children with disabilities, senior citizens with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, or people with a heart transplant, in diverse settings in Spain. She also took part in a project to transform the playground in a public school in Spain and worked as an interim teacher in the Occupational Therapy area at the University of A Coruña (2019-2021). Since 2020, she has become part of the Occupational Science Europe Board as Chair of the Social Media Committee. Since 2022, she is Chair of the Education and Dissemination Committee.
Witnessing people’s lives, current occupational therapy practice dynamics, and social issues moved her research interests from a socio-critical occupational perspective, which lies in comprehending the potential of occupation for communities, social transformation, and inclusion, especially concerning people (children) dealing with occupational inequalities and living in disadvantaged situations. Silvia is interested in broadening her onto-epistemologies and theories, exploring epistemic diversity, feminism, and decolonization of being, power, and knowledge. Employing transformative, community-based, art, creative, and participatory methodologies where people lead their process is also central to her interests. Furthermore, her experiences and passion for Occupational Therapy and Science’s development led her to problematize what, why, and how we do our daily practice, education, and research. Silvia is interested in engaging in diverse, plural, and decolonial conversations with scholars from different geographies that spark questions about how we collectively build ourselves as professionals and the discipline’s horizons. This passion for discovering the discipline transformation encouraged her application to be a P4PLAY PhD student.
Silvia became a P4PLAY PhD student in 2021 and is undertaking her studies at Queen Margaret University (Scotland) and University College Cork (Ireland). Silvia’s research project is supervised by Dr. Sarah Kantartzis (Senior lecturer at Queen Margaret University, Scotland) and Professor Jeanne Jackson (University College Cork, Ireland); and supported by her advisor Theresa Casey. Her partner organization is East Lothian Play Association (ELPA, Scotland). Moving to Scotland and the PhD in Occupational Science both raised challenges and opened up possibilities for unlearning, building, and change.
Her PhD studies aim to understand children’s and community members’ perspectives on developing a play-friendly community in a neighbourhood labelled as deprived in Scotland. Drawing upon a socio-critical paradigm, children and community-based ethnographic and participatory study is being conducted where children are co-researchers in the process of “co-living together.” Silvia has created an Advisory Expert Group based on ELPA to co-develop the initial stages of the methodology. The project is in the stage of data generation.
Twitter: @VeigaSeijoS – https://twitter.com/VeigaSeijoS
Veiga-Seijo, S., Casey, T., Jackson, J., & Kantartzis, S. (2022, 27 May). Researching children’s play collaboratively with a local play organisation. Creating synergies for children’s rights in a disadvantaged community [Oral presentation in a panel]. The ASSAM Interdisciplinary Conference on Social Justice and Civil Society, Edinburgh, Scotland. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6623379
Veiga-Seijo, S., Jackson, J., & Kantartzis, S. (2022, 18-20 August). Researching Play through the lenses of Occupation-based Social Transformation [Oral presentation]. Inaugural World Occupational Science Conference, Vancouver, Canada. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7116910
Veiga-Seijo, S., Kantartzis, S., & Jackson, J. (2022, 28-31 August). Expanding conceptualisations of inclusive play to incorporate the play characteristics of children with diverse play experiences at risk of play deprivation [Oral presentation, Research Institute 3 Minute Thesis]. 18th World Federation of Occupational Therapy Congress, Paris, France. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7117061
Veiga-Seijo, S., Jackson, J., & Kantartzis, S. (2022, 5-7 October). Play as an Occupation for Social Transformation: Creating dialogical spaces with Occupational Science [Oral presentation]. 10th Child in the City Conference, Dublin, Ireland. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7162560
Veiga-Seijo, S., Lynch, H., Jackson, J., & Kantartzis, S. (2022, 14-16 October). Examining the literature about children’s play in disadvantaged communities: Beyond play deprivation? [Oral presentation]. 26th ENOTHE Annual Meeting, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Mula, A., Veiga Seijo, S., Wenger, I., Loudoun, F., Jansens, R., Vinçon, S., Morgenthaler, T. & Bergin, M. Like children at a huge playground. P4PLAY. Available in: https://www.p4play.eu/news/blog-posts/like-children-at-a-huge-playground/2021/09/29/
Dissemination of the project on the media
- “Project for a new ‘play friendly’ Whitecraig community”. (2022). East Lothian Courier. Available: https://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/20272456.project-new-play-friendly-whitecraig-community/
- Research helps develop play-friendly communities. (2022). News Queen Margaret University. Available: https://www.qmu.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2022/20220822-play-friendly-communities/
- Veiga Seijo: «Oito persoas facemos un doutorado europeo sobre a perda de xogo infantil». (2022). La Voz de Galicia. Available: https://www.lavozdegalicia.es/noticia/coruna/2022/08/07/span-langglvir-coa-pandemia-co-brexit-foi-parte-do-proceso-chegar-edimburgospanspan-langgloito-persoas-facemos-doutorado-europeo-sobre-perda-xogo-infantilspan/0003_202208H7C8991.htm
Facebook of the project: https://www.facebook.com/PlaywithChildrenWhitecraig