Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Facing the Truth

Yesterday I attended a talk by Shannon Walsh from McGill University, Education, presented by the Centre for Civil Society. Shannon has been doing an ethnographic study on youth and the use of video. She used youth from Khayelitsha (township area) to develop a project about AIDS in their lives using the production of a documentary. She states that video was "transformed into a tool "for activist, pedagogical research and social change". She also saw the shift of power dynamics when conducting research. Instead of the orthodox foreign "privilege" researcher asking the questions, the students from an underprivileged area (township) were responsible in conducting the surveys in private elite high schools and township schools. It is a way of "researching up" or looking at research conducted by the actual participants. At the end she found the group gaining confidence and creating a documentary to share with their community. I wish Shannon all the luck with her research.

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