Visiting scholar makes great
strides in AIDS/HIV education
Kate Winskell proves you don't have to be an MD or a biomedical researcher
to make a strong contribution to the global fight against HIV/AIDS. Winskell,
a Rockefeller fellow, has been in residence at Emory this semester through
the Center for the Study of Public Scholarship (CSPS) "Emergent Illness,
Public Scholarship" program.
Born and educated in England, Winskell completed her PhD in art history
at the Courtauld Institute of The University of London. Early in 1995, in
fact the day after she defended her thesis, Winskell and her partner, Daniel
Enger, initiated a research project that focused on HIV/AID prevention for
young people in West Africa. "We found a comprehensive-and highly rewarding-way
of putting our work experience and research skills to practical use,"
From May 1995 to September of the following year, Winskell and Enger
engaged in "South-North Dialogues," a tri-continental study on
HIV/AIDS prevention for youth. Their study, and the projects that have evolved
from it, illustrate how academic theory can help resolve practical issues
in an interactive process crossing linguistic, cultural, international,
disciplinary and institutional boundaries.
The two established a dialogue with AIDS prevention specialists at the
local level to discover innovative approaches to educating young people.
This meant hundreds of onsite interviews with medical professionals, religious
leaders, public health researchers, medical anthropologists, journalists,
filmmakers, actors, teachers, activists, social workers and young people
themselves. A broad international network was developed in the process.
"Scenarios from the Sahel", a multi-media HIV prevention project
in West Africa, grew from "Dialogues." Winskell and her colleagues
drew inspiration from a French AIDS prevention project for the culture-specific
"Scenarios." Young West Africans were invited to enter a competition
to come up with ideas in written or pictorial form for a short film about
HIV/AIDS. The competition, which drew about 12,000 entries, also proved
educational for members of the AIDS prevention network by providing an important
database and evaluation of existing education efforts in the region. The
review committee selected 30 scenarios for production by professional African
filmmakers, and those films will become new AIDS intervention tools.
Winskell, who leaves Emory at the end of this month, was one of four
fellows selected for the CSPS program, the first phase of the three-year
"Institutions of Public Culture" project. She has presented her
work to groups from the ILA, African Studies and School of Public Health,
and has participated in this year's Sawyer Seminar, "Emerging Illness
and Communities of Suffering."
Winskell also conducted a workshop at Emory on the "Scenarios"
project, where she screened three of the films showing how Africans creatively
confront AIDS education. Participants from Emory, Clark Atlanta, the University
of Georgia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Atlanta
Public School system, the United Nations Population Fund and Senegal-based
Africa Consultants International, a non-governmental organization, discussed
how the "Scenarios" concept might be applied elsewhere.
Winskell has made a real impression on the Emory community, said Ivan
Karp, director of the CSPS. "We were given a privileged insight into
the film industry in Africa, but, most of all, we were able to see Africans
responding to the AIDS crisis as more than passive victims, but as active
thinking agents working on a terrible problem."
to May 4, 1998 Contents Page