Air pollution is a growing threat to health globally, particularly in urban areas. The inspiration and expiration of polluted air not only can cause disease, but can exacerbate existing illness. In the case of Covid-19, air pollution is thought to not only exacerbate the risk of infection, but also the severity of symptoms and mortality. In light of this global pandemic, tackling air pollution has taken on a new level of urgency and creative arts-based methods have much to offer. In this workshop, members of the AIR (Air Pollution Interdisciplinary Research) Network (https://airnetworkafrica.com/) will showcase two creative methods for both research and action: digital storytelling and music-making. Participants will get some first-hand experience co-creating a digital story online during the workshop on the topic of breath and pollution*. Examples of songs, music videos and digital stories from two projects will be shared. In the most recent Tupumue Project (https://www.lstmed.ac.uk/tupumue), creative arts-based methods were used to explore the topic of air pollution and produce audio-visual resources for awareness raising and community mobilisation. In this workshop we will outline issues of process and highlight lessons learned. We will facilitate a discussion around using music and digital storytelling as both research and community-engagement strategies.
* Please have a piece of white paper and a marker or thick pen with you. If possible, use a headset (mic and headphones), or at least headphones. This will improve sound quality.
* Please be aware that we will be co-creating a digital story in this workshop that will be posted online for open access after the workshop. If you do not want the voice/sound recordings, text or images that you create in the workshop to be included, you must let the convenors know. You can still participate in the workshop”
Bibliography of Digital Stories and Songs:
- Tupumue song and music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhPWDL4TLGg&feature=youtu.be
- Mazingira song and music video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtH0-NreUxA
- The digital story “Air Pollution in Mukuru – Dennis Waweru’s Story” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjetxTMHfaE.
- Blog post by Megan Wainwright on digital storytelling. https://airnetworkafrica.com/2019/03/28/a-digital-story-on-air-pollution-by-dennis-waweru/
- Article in The Conversation about the AIR Network methodologies https://theconversation.com/using-art-to-tackle-air-pollution-a-story-from-a-nairobi-slum-111212
- Blog piece on the MRC website: https://mrc.ukri.org/news/blog/using-music-as-a-force-for-change/