oa Journal of Education - Seeing with the body: educators representations of HIV and AIDS



Within the social sciences generally, there is a burgeoning of interest and expertise in using visual and participatory elements for research designs which have a built-in �research as a social change� orientation. Lister and Wells (2001) stress the unprecedented importance of imaging and visual technologies in contemporary society, and urge researchers to take account of those images when conducting research. A growing body of scholarship in education is incorporating certain image-based techniques into its research methodology. This article explores the use of visual and arts-based methodologies with a group of educators in a postgraduate programme at a university. Issues around HIV and AIDS are explored through creating photographic representations of the body, a natural site to begin exploring AIDS, trying to use photographic imagery to unpack understandings and experiences of AIDS, in so doing creating a context for action and social change. From their visual presentations a variety of themes, revealing the participants� understandings and experiences of AIDS emerged, but differences were also apparent in the way the selections were presented and in the stories that were told. Implications both for methodologies in education, as well as implications for addressing HIV and AIDS with educators are discussed.


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