Using a Participatory Sketching Methodology to Assess Audience Sense-Making after Viewing a Film about Sexual Violence Open Access

McLaughlin, Dell Charlotte (2013)

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Background: As part of the Scenarios from Africa HIV communication process, scriptwriting competitions are held inviting young people across the continent to contribute ideas for short films about HIV/AIDS. The winning ideas are developed into short films by top African filmmakers. Participatory sketching is a little-known participatory visual research method that uses drawing as an adjunct to interview.

Objective: A participatory sketching methodology was used to understand how young people in Burkina Faso make sense of the Scenarios from Africa film Essie with the purpose of informing programmatic practice related to: Scenarios from Africa film production; the response to sexual violence in sub-Saharan Africa; and the potential of the participatory sketching methodology as a research and assessment tool.

Methods: A participatory sketching exercise and interview was performed with forty-one educated young people in Burkina Faso who were shown Scenarios from Africa films with no introduction or facilitated discussion. Transcripts and sketches about the film Essie, on the subject of sexual violence, were analyzed thematically using MaxQDA software.

Results: Participants used the film Essie to understand prior experiences of friends or family members, and to think about how they might help victims of sexual violence in the future. The majority of participants discussed Essie's rape as resulting from her manner of dress and decision to walk alone at night, but nonetheless learned lessons from the film about empathy and understanding for rape victims. Most participants learned factual information from the film about how to prevent HIV infection in victims of rape. A major concern of many participants was the lack of protection provided to women in Burkina Faso by police and national laws, and the tendency for society to turn its back on victims of rape.

Discussion: Participatory sketching was effective at assessing emotional response and understanding in an audience of educated young people in Burkina Faso. It has the potential to optimize the effectiveness of future Scenarios from Africa films and other Entertainment-Education interventions in the region.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction...1

Chapter 2: Literature Review...6

Audience Ethnography...6

Agenda for Entertainment-Education...7

Community-Based Participatory Research...8

Participatory Visual Research...9

Participatory Sketching...11

Drawing as a Memory Aid, Helping to Access Emotion...12

Sexual Violence in Burkina Faso...14

Response to Sexual Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa...15

Chapter 3:


Plot of Essie...19




Reason for Essie's Attack...33

Burkinabè Culture or Legal System...36

New Information Learned...43

Chapter 4:




Reason for Essie's Attack...47

Burkinabè Culture or Legal System...48

New Information Learned...49

Participatory Sketching...49


Public Health Recommendations...52


Appendix A: List of acronyms used...58

Appendix B: IRB documentation...59

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