“What was that blur?” “The Fall, I think.”

So… October happened. And then November. And then DECEMBER. When did December happen?! What a busy semester. A full update isn’t in the cards at the moment, but here’s a quick post I’ve been meaning to type up for a while.

In October, the psychology department hosted Dr. Jen Rinaldi, assistant professor of legal studies at UOIT for a colloquium. The talk was titled “Examining the Intersection of Body Image and Identity in LGBTTIQQ2S Women using an Art-based Methodology” and discussed a digital storytelling workshop that was conducted in 2015. While the findings of the project – Through Thick and Thin – were interesting, I wanted to share a bit about the method that was used. It was certainly new to me and I ended up taking some notes:

For those that aren’t fluent in “plate” – here are the key points. The project asked women to create autobiographical microdocumentaries, short multi-media films about how their body image interacted with different aspects of their identity (gender, sexual preference, ability). The participants learned how to use the equipment to create and edit their films. Working with the participants helps to create trust, break down power barriers, and facilitate relationships. The narratives created by the women were used to educate the health community¬†(as well as the public) about a variety of issues, exposing people to a range of experiences and fostering empathy. In addition to empowering people to tell their own stories, using this format allows for the maximum impact in a short amount of time. Bonus – the catchy, personal stories enhance and personalize the message. For those who are interested, the videos can be viewed on Rainbow Health Ontario’s YoutTube channel.

The method has so many potential applications, especially for action research, community-university partnerships or projects involving education or outreach – where the message is best conveyed by the experts (the participants themselves). For those who are interested, Podkalicka and Campbell (2010) have a short paper talking about some of the applications and downfalls of digital storytelling using a case study example (read it here).

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