@WomensResearch: Exploring arts-based knowledge translation with the HIV Made Me Fabulous team

“Exploring arts-based knowledge translation with the HIV Made Me Fabulous team” features guests Dr. Angela Kaida (Film Co-Producer), Juno Roche (Film Writer and Narrator), and Edmond Kilpatrick (Film Director and Co-Producer), alongside host and team member Azra Bhanji. 

Before listening to the podcast and reading this blog, we encourage you to watch the 10 minute film at https://www.lifeandlovewithhiv.ca/film

About this episode

In this episode, @WomensResearch podcast guests reflect on the process, lessons learned, and impact of their film, HIV Made Me Fabulous. The film uses a central technique called embodied storytelling, which aims to create an emotional experience to supplement story narration. Edmond speaks about his intentions to bring Juno’s words to life using authentic movements of the characters in the film. In addition to the thoughtful movements, character selection was an important process; Edmond wanted viewers to be able to see themselves through both Juno’s words and conveyed through the diversity of characters.

“What [Juno] did for me, is to show how that concept lives in your body and other women living with HIV. This is where I saw that human connection and created a visual.”

Angela also expresses the importance of this film for disseminating critical research findings and information about living with HIV. Compared to traditional scientific approaches to knowledge translation, the film explores an arts-based approach to catalyzing and changing the conversation around HIV. Fundamentally, the film is a chance for the audience to engage in discussion.

The art and beauty of this film is people really pulling out features that I didn’t necessarily see [...] some audiences said they felt the frustration of the women in this film of what they were coming up against, [they] felt that in [their] body. Audience sharing their experiences was so profoundly important to our process. They led us to a decision of advancing discussions and the language of talking about HIV.

Juno Roche is an internationally-recognized writer and campaigner whose work centres on class, gender, sexuality and trans lives. She is the Founder of Trans Workers UK and the Trans Teachers Network. In her role as the film writer and narrator, Juno affirms how safe she felt with Edmond during the initial collaborative process of writing the film, who wanted to honour her story and lived experience with HIV. Their teamwork highlights how humility and trust was critical for developing this film, allowing them to create a beautiful final product. 

To close the episode, the team discusses the power of using art as a tool for knowledge translation in a political climate. Angela emphasizes that research is political; the work exists in societies where power dynamics weigh heavily on the realities of the people involved. By using art as a medium to share research findings, it opens up the opportunities for people to emotionally connect and learn.

Art has the potential to reach people in unreachable spaces.

Learn more about the film

To learn more about the speakers and the HIV Made Me Fabulous film, check out Episode 19 of the @WomensResearch podcast on all platforms.

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For more details see: https://www.lifeandlovewithhiv.ca/this-is-great-how-can-i-help-and-other-faqs/