9811 The Communication Initiative, The Drum Beat, 621, Art for Public Health Communication

The Drum Beat – 621 – Art for Public Health Communication
SPEAKING OUT ARTFULLY FOR HEALTH RIGHTS: Challenging StigmaAdvocating for Change
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ENGAGING YOUNG VOICES: Youth vs. PolioArt of Public Health
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1. Malaria: Blood, Sweat and Tears
This global exhibition highlights the complex relationship between malaria and poverty and the need for support to combat the disease. It incorporates a variety of media, including photographs, stamps, illustration, and 3-dimensional objects such as mosquito nets, to create dialogue on the history, science, and global impact of malaria. [Adam Nadel in collaboration with the Malaria Consortium]
2. Through Positive Eyes
Through Positive Eyes is based on the belief that challenging stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS is an effective method for combating the epidemic – and that art is a powerful way to do this. The project is creating an international album of personal photo essays created by people living with HIV/AIDS, which can be found on the Through Positive Eyes website and in exhibitions around the world. [University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Art & Global Health Center (AGHC) with Gideon Mendel]
3. Nuestra Casa Exhibition Project
This communication initiative revolves around a traveling exhibit: a full-size, 3-dimensional house that is designed to make real the life and stories of people in Mexico and its northern borderlands who are affected by tuberculosis (TB). It was created as a tool for advocacy, communication, and social mobilisation to get people involved in concrete action to prevent the spread of TB and reduce the number of cases and deaths caused by it. [University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), the Mexican Consulate, the City of El Paso Health Department, the Alliance of Border Collaborative (ABC), and TB Photovoice, with funding from Project Concern International (PCI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)]
4. Bringing HIV, Substance Abuse and Homelessness into the University of Pennsylvania Anthropology Museum through Photo-Ethnography
by Philippe Bourgois
This article documents the experience and research strategies of 2 men who, in San Francisco, US, integrated photography into an ethnographic project documenting the lives of a social network of homeless heroin addicts in order to advocate for changes in US public policy related to indigent drug users. What emerged from the project was a book and an exhibition. Community groups, homeless and addiction services organisations, and educators then used the space, bringing their clients/patients/inmates/students for visits and reflection sessions. [May 2012]
5. Drawing It Out: International HIV/AIDS Cartoon Exhibit
In an effort to help de-stigmatise HIV/AIDS, 50 graphic artists created cartoons for a public exhibit featured at locations around the world. The cartoons represented varied artistic reflections on the HIV/AIDS epidemic as part of an effort to create a vibrant mosaic that enables the audience to approach a serious subject through the lens of humour. [International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region (IPPF/WHR) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)]
6. Moving Walls: A Documentary Photography Exhibition
Moving Walls is based on the premise that photojournalists can use photography as a medium to bring attention to human rights and social justice issues that may otherwise be overlooked by mainstream media outlets. Each uses different approaches; one of them drew on participatory strategies. She notes that, when a child asked if he could pick a different name to accompany his photographs, it occurred to the artist that he was really asking to share control. This inspired her to look for ways to make the image-making process collaborative. [Open Society Foundations]
7. Witnesses to Hunger
With the goal of promoting dialogue and advocacy on economic poverty and maternal and child health in the US, this community-based participatory research project uses “photovoice”, a strategy that includes providing cameras to participants. The Witnesses to Hunger project team developed documentaries into a traveling exhibit featuring still photography, audio recordings, written narratives, and video clips. During a 2012 conference, over 85 women and men who experience hunger and poverty first-hand shared their experiences and collaborated on solutions with policymakers, philanthropists, advocates, and journalists. [Center for Hunger-Free Communites based at Drexel University School of Public Health]
8. Changing Perceptions of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam
Displaying personal belongings, artefacts, pictures, and memories donated by individuals living with HIV/AIDS, this exhibition depicted the lives of infected people and their families and traced changing perceptions about the epidemic over time. People living with HIV/AIDS and those engaged in HIV/AIDS research, advocacy, and prevention efforts met and shared their experiences. A website was established to provide visitors with information about the exhibition and to call for the community’s involvement. [Center for Community Health Research and Development (CCRD) and the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology (VME) in collaboration with Columbia University]
9. Beye Kenu Le Hiwot (Everyday for Life) ART Communication Programme
This project held an exhibition called “Lives in Color” at which people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS represented their life stories visually. Participants involved in community body mapping workshops earlier in the year were able to illustrate the impact of HIV on their body and soul in life-sized paintings. The exhibition of the paintings was shown at The National Museum of Ethiopia. [Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs – AIDS Resource Center (JHU/CCP-ARC)]
10. Weaving Traditional Arts into the Fabric of Community Health: A Briefing from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA)
This briefing evaluates the strategy of promoting health through active engagement in community-centred traditional arts in California, United States (US). Among the salient findings and recurrent themes were that the practice of traditional arts has positive effects, including: contributing to spiritual and emotional growth, and physical vigour; strengthening of personal and community identity; and mitigating historical trauma. [Oct. 2011]
11. EQUITY Photovoice Project
This participatory community assessment programme drew on a methodology called “photovoice” to put cameras in the hands of young people, including those who are HIV-positive, in Mdantsane Township, South Africa. The goal was to enable them to photograph and write narratives about community issues from their perspective, and to communicate their findings to policymakers through dissemination activities that included a newspaper article, 4 exhibits, and an invitation inviting them to participate in “mini-exhibits” and discussions. In addition, the participants shared their project binders (including handouts and their photographs) with families, friends, and neighbours.
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The CI Partners (a) collectively provide the strategic guidance and direction for The Communication Initiative – ensuring that it meets the overall development priorities and needs of the communication and media community and (b) provide significant resources to support this overall initiative. Please contact Warren Feekwfeek@comminit.com if your organisation is considering providing this significant level of support to The CI.

12. Young Artists of Balochistan Together for Polio Eradication
From an August 7 2012 blog submitted by jawahir: “The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)-supported polio communication network is working…to support the Government of Balochistan to improve awareness regarding polio disease and vaccination….Right before the July polio campaign, an art exhibition was held in the provincial capital….50 artists from the universities participated in the event; these artists belonged to different areas of the province…..The artwork was given to the students as an assignment; the artists expressed different aspects of polio eradication. They showed polio effected children living a life with disability, as well as the despair, isolation, and difficulties an affected child faces in his life. The artists showed through their artwork the importance of two drops of polio vaccine and polio eradication campaigns and the power of vaccine to prevent life time disab! ility.”
13. A Place to Call Home
Noting that public health researchers have documented a range of adverse health effects associated with housing insecurity and homelessness, including threats to mental, physical, and social wellbeing, this US initiative draws on public art as a tool for housing advocacy. The first step was to photographically document housing conditions along a major corridor cutting through Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then, the team gave cameras to 48 high-risk youth and asked them to explore and document what home means to them from their “insider” perspective. Next, a group of researchers and newly trained artists and undergraduate students interviewed the young people, using each of their images of home as the basis for photo-elicitation interviews. The stories revealed in through these interviews were the genesis of a range of multimedia art installations. [Mural Arts Program (MAP)]
14. “Let’s Connect” Art Exhibition
In November 2011, an exhibition of children’s art opened to the United Kingdom public to give children in nursery school or primary school a chance to think about communication and how they interact with adults and other children. Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust’s (NCH&C) speech and language therapists work within multi-disciplinary teams to help children and adults to develop their communication skills, perhaps as a result of a developmental issue or after a medical condition such as a stroke. [NCH&C in partnership with Norfolk County Council and the University of East Anglia (UEA)]
15. UNICEF Photography
The UNICEF Photography website provides examples of ways that online tools can be used to tell the stories of children around the world. The Photo Essays section offers stories depicting children’s lives in the context of several topics, including (amongst others) health and HIV/AIDS. The topic “Child’s View” provides photo essays composed of images taken by children and young people.
16. The Art of Public Health
Fourteen pairs of students at the Yale University’s School of Public Health were charged to come up with compelling designs to provoke awareness, stimulate thought, and perhaps change behaviour on issues such as obesity, breast cancer screening, self-respect, and child development. Poster design was chosen because it has a long tradition and, organisers contend, allows sophisticated ideas to be communicated in a way that is creative, visual, and very focused on a single message. The posters created through this collaborative effort may be viewed online.
17. Essentials of Public Health Communication
With chapter contributions from experts in public health informatics and epidemiology, health communication, and evaluation, this textbook introduces concepts and examples that are designed to prepare students to enter a local health department, community organisation, or government agency and then to contribute to health communication research, patient counselling, materials design, programme management, and media relations. On the cover of the book is a mask entitled “Blue in the Face III: A Collaged Mask”, by artist Frederick Weston; the foreword explains the significance of this work of art for health communication. [Jan. 2011]
This issue of The Drum Beat was written by Kier Olsen DeVries.
The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication Initiative Partnership – ANDI, BBC Media Action, Bernard van Leer Foundation, Calandria, CIDA, Citurnas ldta., DFID, FAO, Fundación Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano (FNPI), Ford Foundation, Heartlines, Imaginario, Inter-American Development Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, Ohio University, Oxfam Novib, PAHO, The Panos Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul City, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, USAID, World Health Organization (WHO), W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

Chair of the Partners Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City garth@heartlines.org.za

Executive Director: Warren Feek wfeek@comminit.com

The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen DeVries.
Please send additional project, evaluation, strategic thinking, and materials information on communication for development at any time. Send to drumbeat@comminit.com

The Drum Beat seeks to cover the full range of communication for development activities. Inclusion of an item does not imply endorsement or support by The Partners.

To reproduce any portion of The Drum Beat, click here for our policy.


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