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Title:Public engagement with HIV in a rural South African context: an analysis of a small-media, taxi-based edutainment model applied in 'Jiving with Science'
Authors:Treffry-Goatley, AstridISNI
Mahlinza, MduduziISNI
Imrie, JohnISNI
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies (ISSN 0256-0046)
Geographic term:South Africa
health education
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02560046.2013.766976
Abstract:Years of State denial in South Africa resulted in poor national understandings of HIV. There is an urgent need to increase public engagement with health research, and encourage behaviour that reduces HIV transmission and supports the uptake of relevant health interventions. Behaviour change is, however, a lengthy, complex process and there is always space for entertaining non-didactic mechanisms to engage audiences and engender social change. The project 'Jiving with Science' involved developing, distributing and evaluating three edutainment CDs over two years. The CDs, which were distributed free-of-charge to community stakeholders - in particular mini-bus taxi drivers, for the entertainment of commuters - were endorsed by local celebrities and contain a narrative informed by local scientific data on HIV/AIDS, interspersed with popular music tracks. A critical examination of the project concept, production and distribution processes reveals that this is an example of how small media methodologies can empower health researchers to create low-cost, targeted products to engender positive social change. However, the strength of the product lies in its connection to a complex, well-established research programme and the authors suggest that researchers keep this in mind when developing similar material, and also that they consider incorporating a greater degree of participatory techniques, because these can only add value to the quality and relevance of the edutainment product. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]