The next series of posts will be focused on the featured artists who performed at the dance4life Big Event in March, starting with Rhy Minister. These artists now serve as dance4life Barbados Ambassadors and their thoughts on music, art, sexual health, HIV, and sexuality will be shared throughout the next group of posts! This piece is an interview, so the responses are unique to the artists’ language and voice. I was able to speak with Keoma, the first featured artist in this post series, after the dance4life Big Event. Below you find a quick bio, followed by his perspectives on the youth issues mentioned above.
The Event for dance4life was on Saturday, March 30th! The four steps of the dance4life program were incorporated into The Event: Inspire, educate, activate, and celebrate. All youth who have been a part of the dance4life program were invited to attend which means there will be up to 1,300 students present! We worked tirelessly to make sure The Event was not only educational and engaging, but also a true celebration for the achievements of the youth in the program.
Many, many updates: The mtvU dance4life Photovoice Project, a new Photovoice project on a neighboring island, the dance4life celebration event, the artist collective at The Good Life Barbados, and turning the Photovoice project into script for a community action performance. Ready? Okay.
The Photovoice project has been moving forward as usual. Students at Harrison College were presented with the most recent question: What is one resource you use that helps you achieve positive sexual health? Check out the short silent movie made by four of the Photovoice students to illustrate their response to this question. Again I want to stress, this was made entirely by youth in the project, and, well, they’re awesome
We will also be starting with the Photovoice project at The Graydon Sealy Secondary School shortly (previously called The Garrison Secondary)…
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“I think one of the biggest problems facing the youth today is their inability to express themselves and do what they like because they are afraid of what others may think or say in response.” This was written for the most recent phase of the mtvU dance4life Photovoice Project by a secondary school student in Barbados. What is the most challenging issue facing youth? Self-expression.
The initial framing question (What does an AIDS free generation look like?) was very specific and narrowly defined. The most recent question presented more freedom to the youth. Expecting to read a handful of different issues, I was surprised to see that every photo, video, and narrative shared by the youth touched on the same topic: self-expression and peer pressure. Here are a few of the photos and narratives. These were all created by youth at a secondary school on the island.
Hello again from down here in Barbados! Lots has been happening with the dance4life mtvU project…
In the last post I described the Photovoice process we are doing with the dance4life youth at Harrison College, one of the secondary schools in Barbados. To refresh y’all….Photovoice is a participatory action research method that enhances the voice of community members through the creation of photos and narratives. The goal is to use these photos and narratives not just as creations of art, but tools that connect youth voice to program development and policy making. When I last wrote, the Photovoice project had just begun, and our collaborators at PEPFAR (US President’s Emergency AIDS Relief Plan) were interested in tailoring the first round of Photovoice to the World AIDS Day 2012 – Getting to Zero events at the US Embassy. As per the request of PEPFAR, youth were asked: What does an AIDS-free generation look like? Each of the students in the project took one photograph and wrote one narrative in response to this question. All of the photos and narratives were on display at the US Embassy, and we were all invited to give a presentation to the US Ambassador to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Larry L. Palmer. Elsewhere in the world “Secretary Clinton commemorated World AIDS Day 2012 and unveiled the PEPFAR Blueprint: Creating an AIDS-free Generation.” Oh Hillary Clinton……. take a look over here!
Photo courtesy of US Embassy Bridgetown – Harrison College youth with Ambassador Palmer
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