Leaving the record breaking cold of Montreal Katie arrived in Durban, South Africa on January 22nd, 2013 and sunshine and 30C! With the support of grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Katie has just begun her 3 month stay in South Africa where she has the amazing opportunity to work with Professor Moletsane the John Langalibalele Dube Chair in Rural Education and director of the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change at the University of KwaZulu Natal and Professor De Lange, Chair of HIV and AIDS in Education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth – two of the top researchers globally in the field of rural education, arts-based methodologies, and HIV and AIDS. With this expert supervision, Katie will be collaborating with rural teachers to put together community screenings of their cellphilms and is interested in exploring methodologies to critically examine the impact of public screening during participatory arts-based research interventions.
Also while in KwaZulu Natal, Katie will be conducting focus group interviews with high school students on their cellphone use, cellphone ethics, and integrating cellphones into their learning practices to help provide a baseline understanding of how young people living in rural contexts are currently integrating cellphones into their lives.
One week into her time abroad, Katie can boast having got her first sunburn and can safely say that she will not forget to put sunscreen on her shins again. Not one to let a little burn slow her down, however, she has settled in to her one-room flat in Musgrave and enjoyed her first meeting with professors at UKZN, found the local gym and started working out, and is certain that Fry’s makes the best veggie dogs in the world!
Kay Yang is currently a postdoctoral student in the Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where she is working with
Professor Naydene De Lange. This semester, she will be teaching a research methodology course to students in an honour’s program in education, in addition to working on her research on participatory video. Since arriving in Port Elizabeth in January 12, 2013, she has already flown to Durban to attend a training session on teaching the course. On January 23, 2013, in collaboration with Naydene, Vimbiso Makamure (Naydene’s research assistant), Kay organized a photovoice event on campus and invited faculty members and administrators in the Faculty of Education to create photo messages on how to turn the tide on HIV and AIDS and to share the messages with one another. Using a digital camera, each participant created a visual message, combining hand and text in a photograph, on what the faculty can do to turn the tide on the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Kay pictured with Prof Paul Webb and Prof Aletta Delport.
Kay lives in a Postgraduate Village on campus under the surveillance of monkeys. People in the village (and Port Elizabeth in general) have declared war against monkeys because they tend to steal food and destroy things in homes. Kay also sees mongooses around her house; she is careful not to step on snails on her way to campus; and, looks forward to body surfing in the ocean.
Toilets and gender: Case studies from African schools
International Institute for Educational Planning, Paris.
Proposed submission date, Sept, 2013
Authors: Claudia Mitchell (McGill) and Relebohile Moletsane (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
What can a teacher do with a cellphone?
What can a teacher do with a cellphone? That’s the question two groups of rural teachers, one from the Vulindlela district of KwaZulu-Natal and one from the Eastern Cape have been exploring particularly in the context of making cellphilms (or mobile phone films) on issues related to their own teaching circumstances. In two- day workshops in April in each of the two provinces, teachers learned more about how they could use their own cellphones to produce documentaries and dramas in their classrooms and communities. In the workshops they learned about key aspects of making films (planning, storyboarding, doing the shoot, being the camera person, director or actor, and working with titles and credits).
More than 85 % per cent of South Africans have access to a cellphone, and while we are used to being bombarded with news reports about the harmful effects of cellphones, in this project funded by the UKZN College of Humanities Strategic Fund and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (“Digital Voices, Indigenous Knowledge and Rural Teachers in the Age of AIDS”) headed up by Relebohile Moletsane (JL Dube Chair in Rural Education) and Claudia Mitchell, (James McGill Professor and Honorary Professor in the School of Education, UKZN) the news is good! Teachers can become film makers in their own classrooms, and as is being discovered in this project, they can also develop new networks with other teachers who are also producing cellphilms. In the first phase of the project teachers are working in their own schools and communities, but in the second phase the teachers from KwaZulu-Natal will be visiting and networking with the teachers from the Eastern Cape who are working with Naydene de Lange, the Chair in HIV&AIDS education at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. This project, implemented through the Participatory Cultures Lab and the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change, and involving a team of researchers (Lebo Moletsane, Naydene de Lange, Jean Stuart, and Claudia Mitchell along with several doctoral students) explores the ways that new technologies make it possible for the perspectives of teachers to be given voice and made visible.
Check out our Cellphilm project put on by Kay, one of our Participatory Cultures Lab members.
The Workshop Video
Cellphilm 1: Moving Forward
Cellphilm 2: Risk