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Capturing the Unspoken: Using Applied Theatre to Engage the Community and Inform HIV/AIDS Policy

Toronto, Ontario
November 19, 2009

Room C154, OISE, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto
Discussion: 4:00-5:30 p.m.
Interactive Theatre Session: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Presented by Environmental Health Justice in the City A Centre for Urban Health Initiatives Research Interest Group in collaboration with the Collaborative Master’s Program in Community Development at the Cities Centre

Aiding Dramatic Change in Development founding members, Stephen Sillett and Jennifer Jimenez, have recently returned from South Africa, where they explored the fusion of Applied theatre and community based research, devising a methodology to record community revelations and desires through workshops using Image Theatre with the project: Capturing the Unspoken: Using Applied Theatre to engage the community and inform HIV/AIDS policy. Workshops in the rural area of Ingwavuma, KwaZulu Natal, and in informal and formal townships around East London, Eastern Cape, centered around active, meaningful, participation and community engagement and provided a process for partnered organizations to create more reflective policies on HIV and AIDS. HIV prevalence is extremely high in both these areas with an antenatal HIV prevalence rate of 39% and 29% respectively. Stephen and Jennifer will be giving an overview of the project and methodology, while sharing their strategies and lessons learned and lead you through some Image theatre exercises to illustrate the process of group reflection and dialogue through body imagery.

The seminar will be structured in two parts. The first half includes the discussion followed by a Q & A. The second half includes the interactive theatre session. Participants are invited to attend both or either session.

Refreshments will be provided.

Speakers: Jennifer Jimenez and Stephen Sillett are Co-founders and Managing Artistic Directors of Aiding Dramatic Change in Development - a non-profit organization working to empower communities in Canada and abroad through participatory arts processes reflecting the culture, desires, and life experiences of the people in the community.

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