Fieldsites

Fieldsites

To dates there are multiple field sites across South Africa and Canada, led by project partners, co-investigators and local collaborators. Each site is focused on youth-led media making, community-based research, participatory action research, research as intervention, and research as social change.

South Africa

Child and Youth Care Centre’s; Benoni Gauteng & Johannesburg, Gauteng Province : These two sites are both located in Gauteng Province within urban centres. Led by North West University, the work at these sites involves a visual participatory exploration of the resilience processes of black African girls who have been sexually abused. It involves working with 7 black African girls aged 15-18 years who reside in the two Child and Youth Care Centres. A range of visual participatory methods are used including timelines, digital stories and participatory video.

Girls Leading Change (GLC), Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University : This university-based site involving 14 rural women who were students in the Faculty of Education was the pilot site for Networks as a whole, beginning in 2014. The young women engaged in photovoice, drawing, and cellphilm production to look back at their school experiences of sexual violence as well as their campus experiences. Drawing on their participatory visual work they created action briefs and policy posters. Between 2014 and 2017 GLC have engaged in numerous policy dialogues with campus officials as well as participating in various Feminist Dialogues and local and national conferences. In 2016 they travelled to St Cloud University in the US to share their findings, and have published a book 14 Times a Woman: Indigenous Stories from the Heart.

Khethani, Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal Province : Led by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, this site is in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Work at the site began in 2016, initially with 7 girls and 1 boy. By the end of the year the number had grown to 21 girls and a boy between the ages of 13-19 – the Leaders for Young Women’s Success (L4YWS). The first visual methods workshop with the L4YWS was held in July 2016. The L4YWS have created participatory community maps, cellphilms, digital stories, a short drama, and have planned an awareness march and community dialogue for International Women’s Day 2017.

Loskop, KwaZulu-Natal Province : At this deeply rural site in KZN led by the University of KwaZulu-Natal, work began with a community engagement meeting in September 2016. After gaining entry into the community, 15 young women between the ages of 13 and 19—the Social Ills Fighters (SIFs), were recruited in October 2016. The SIFs have used drama, participatory community maps, drawing cellphilms, and digital stories to explore sexual violence in their lives.

Sandisulwazi Secondary School, Paterson, Eastern Cape : Led by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, work at this site involves 9 rural school girls, between the ages of 15 and 18. The work at this site commenced in February 2016 and involves participatory visual work, i.e. drawing, photovoice, participatory video, making policy posters and action briefs to understand gender violence in their rural context and to address the gender violence. The participants are now engaging school policy makers (School Governing Body, School Management Team), their peers, as well as the community, intending to bring about change in terms of gender violence.

 
Canada

Dease Lake, Iskut, British Columbia : Led by the University of Victoria, activities in Dease Lake and Iskut which began in 2017 have included group and individual sessions, with more planned for the fall that will include parents and staff in order to generate community-wide knowledge exchange. Materials have included land-based materials (rocks, moose hide, local plants, etc.), and video and picture documentation. Participants have focused on the realities in small, rural and isolated communities, the impact of silencing and fear in lateral violence, the historical roots of sexualized violence, and what is needed at the community level to sustain safe and productive conversations and interventions regarding violence and wellbeing. Future initiatives will focus on creating products for the local school, to support school-based knowledge translation and engaging with school staff and families.

Eskasoni, Nova Scotia : Led by Dalhousie University, work began in this rural site in 2016. The work is taking place in collaboration with Eskasoni Mental Health Services and nine young women between the ages of 17 and 23. Using a variety of participatory visual methods (including collaging, body maps, community maps, cellphilms as well as more traditional activities such as making dream catchers, the women have outlined: 1) what sexual violence includes, 2) where in the community it takes place, 3) how it is situated within historical structures of colonialism and continued system racism, 4) why girls and young women don’t report instances of sexual violence; 5) what is needed to start changing these contexts and related reasons for sexual violence and non-reporting; and 6) what young women need to successfully resist sexual violence and what is required within the resilience resources that surround them. The young women are working with service providers within and beyond their community to address highlighted issues. As part of this they have also successfully secured additional funding (together with EMHS and the academic team) to replicate the research with young men.

Haida Gwaii, Tsawwassen, British Columbia : Led by Dalhousie University, work began in this rural site in 2016. The work is taking place in collaboration with Eskasoni Mental Health Services and nine young women between the ages of 17 and 23. Using a variety of participatory visual methods (including collaging, body maps, community maps, cellphilms as well as more traditional activities such as making dream catchers, the women have outlined: 1) what sexual violence includes, 2) where in the community it takes place, 3) how it is situated within historical structures of colonialism and continued system racism, 4) why girls and young women don’t report instances of sexual violence; 5) what is needed to start changing these contexts and related reasons for sexual violence and non-reporting; and 6) what young women need to successfully resist sexual violence and what is required within the resilience resources that surround them. The young women are working with service providers within and beyond their community to address highlighted issues. As part of this they have also successfully secured additional funding (together with EMHS and the academic team) to replicate the research with young men.

Kjipuktuk, Nova Scotia : Led by Mount Saint Vincent University, this site is in the city of Halifax and is located at Mount St Vincent University. Commencing in 2015, the group consists of 8-10, Indigenous university students, mainly but not exclusively from the Mi’kmaq local communities, which surround Halifax. The group has done a range of arts based activities including spoken word poetry, a film making workshop, and work with a local elder on traditional healing practices. We have used these activities to address sexualized violence in their own experiences and in the experiences of their families and communities.

Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, Quebec : Co-led by McGill University and the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal, the work at this site is just in the development stage: Work at this site in urban Montreal involves 15 Inuit young women between the ages of 18 and 22, and will commence in November, 2017. The fieldwork will include an arts-based intervention, along with participatory film-making and the use of social media to reach other Inuit girls and young women.

Prince Rupert and Terrace, Lax Kw’alaams, British Columbia : Led by the University of Victoria, the workshops have been planned for the fall, 2017. The communities have requested skill building around sexual wellbeing and sexual health. The focus will be making body maps and personal crests that highlight girls and young women’s vision for gender wellbeing. There will also be a focus on sexualized violence in the child welfare system. Findings from these workshops are being taken up and translated into practice and policy frameworks by one of our research partners, Northwest Inter-Nation Child and Family Services, a delegated child and family-serving agency that serves these communities.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan : Co-led by National Indigenous Young Women’s Council and York University, fieldwork at this urban site began in May, 2017 with 3 day-long workshops with Indigenous Girls (ages 12-15). The first workshop had 12 girls, and the numbers grew each week. There were 17 at the final one. During the workshops, girls participated in a variety of educational, skill-building, and art-making sessions presented by facilitators with experience working with Indigenous girls (many of whom self-identify as Indigenous artists/educators themselves). The girls created cellphilms in small groups and collaborated on the production of a group short film that documented their vision of an “Indigenous Women’s Utopia” to speak back to the ways they experience everyday gender-based violence. The second phase of workshops will begin in September-October, 2017 when the girls will be involved in planning more public screenings and next steps.

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