Community Film and Radio – What Our Audiences Teach Us About Geography

Authors: Heather Davis*, University of Tennessee
Topics: Qualitative Methods, Medical and Health Geography, Communication
Keywords: Film, Radio, Creative Geographies, Creative Methodologies, Health Geographies
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 48
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


My presentation will discuss my empirical usage of community film and radio as participatory methodological tools in framing creative health messaging around health inequities and community wellbeing. I will provide examples from my own community-based films and videos and my radio show (Knox Community Well Be, WOZO, 103.9LPFM). Community film and radio can act as emancipatory educational platforms between academia and non-academia, by allowing for shared learning and teaching. People engage differently with film and radio as opposed to the written word. This is especially true with the usage of mobile phone digital audio and film. Although this creates unequal power balances which affect learning and reception of film (and radio) as a geographical teaching tool, film and radio provide a wider remit for teaching and knowledge exchange. This is done by more actively capturing the attention and engagement of particular audiences, such as those who are visual and auditory learners, those with special needs, low-literacy populations, or across language barriers. They create a platform for academics to engage with in reshaping their own power dynamics, through examining how they edit and shape the narrative, and how they speak with and to those they are researching or engaging with in the community. I also use film for my own creative practice, as part of a spoken word / performance poetry collective, where I have an outlet to surreptitiously teach and learn from people about health and geography in environments where geography might not normally be recognized or discussed.

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