Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 333
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Conference Details
International Committee
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Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #333  -  E-Posters English
  50.115: E-Posters English (Poster) on Sunday   in  Chaired by
  Presenting Author:   Prof Nengeh Maria Mensah - Universite du Quebec a Montreal (UQAM), Canada
  Additional Authors:  Dr. Jordi Casabona, Sra Cristina Sanclemente, Dra. Anna  Esteve, Dra. Victoria Gonzalez, Grupo HIVITS TS,  
BACKGROUND: In Canada as around the world, persons living with HIV/AIDS from many walks of life have shared their experiences using various media forms since the early days of the pandemic. These testimonials articulate important messages about disclosure, stigma, public education, community and the creative process of telling one?s story. Since little is known about the experience of these storytellers our research team sought to learn more. An action-research project was undertaken by university professors in partnership with the Québec coalition of HIV/AIDS community-based organizations [Coalition des organismes communautaires de lutte contre le sida, COCQ-SIDA), and it ran for six years. This paper presents some of the lessons learned from this research with advocates and storytellers that create HIV/AIDS testimonial cultures in Canada.
Method / Issue:
METHODS : First, an archive of 38 Canadian films and videos produced between 1985 and 2011 that provide first-person accounts of living with HIV were compiled and released on DVD (VIHSIBILITÉ 2009, 2012). Second, A series of 20 in-depth interviews with people who have given a testimonial about living with HIV or as a person living with HIV in the media or through the use of artistic expression, dating back at least one year. We interviewed people who are public advocates, give conferences, write books, are quoted in articles or newspapers, use performance, video and of course television, internet and mobile media or networks.
Results / Comments:
RESULTS: The research raises questions regarding how HIV-positive men and women can give public voice to their stories using different public forums and media, what the stakes are in coming-out to a large audience, which audiences they tend to reach and how. Those we interviewed talked about the coproduction of their stories and called for a larger circulation of first-person accounts of living with HIV in general. The video archive points to the urgency of developing a critical reflexion on some important ethical issues.
DISCUSSION : The research also raises questions regarding those who coproduce HIV/AIDS testimonials in Canada and points to their role with storytellers who decide to publicly tell their stories or not to. Coproducers include community-based organizations, social workers, researchers and journalists. Community-based organisations are driven by the collective objectives and advocacy. Social workers are concerned about the personal development of storytellers in relation to their environment and resources. Researchers use interviews or other methods to collect information and they analyse it. Journalists are guided by goals of independence and profitability, as well as rigid space and time constraints.
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