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Friday, July 8 • 10:15 - 11:45
Session 1A: Comics and Interactivity

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No Substitute for Free Speech? Developing Vusual Tools to Aid Communication for Individuals with Autistic Spectrum Disorders - Richard Oparka

Deploying Visual Narrative on the Mobile App "Stage" in a Posttest HIV Counseling Tool for Central American Militaries - Shari Lambert

For HIV-negative individuals, post-test counseling is a critical period in which to increase risk perceptions and decrease risk behaviors. In Latin America, where resources for testing are limited and the stigma surrounding HIV and risk behaviors is high, health providers and counselors may skip crucial risk behavioral screening (e.g., questions about unprotected anal sex) during post-test counseling. To address this issue, in 2014–2015 with funding by the U.S. Naval Health Research Center's Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, RTI International piloted the development of a self-administered post-test counseling interface for Voluntary Counseling and Testing centers in the armed forces of the Dominican Republic and Belize. The tablet-based interface aids in post-test communication about risk factors and behaviors associated with contracting HIV. Visuals were needed to help explain terminology and various aspects of HIV prevention, including risk behaviors and preventive measures (e.g., condom use). Often, the public health illustrations that typically are used to display images of sex may reinforce the stigma surrounding sex. Many members of the military population in the region are young and exposed to western media, so it was thought that casting characters in comic art would be more appealing. Two virtual comic characters, Bob and Britney, were created to guide users through two gender-specific risk assessments. A visual narrative was developed around the characters to assist with explaining survey questions, including demonstrations of risk behavior (e.g., unprotected sex), and to encourage safe behaviors. In preliminary tests of the interface, the visuals eliminated confusion about the survey questions (as there had been in the past). A 3-month pilot study of 128 military clients was conducted that measured the ability of the interface to enhance the impact of the behavior change messages provided. The positive response to the visuals led to updating the artwork in companion flipchart tools.

Ten Little Memories: Visual Theater for Adults with Mental Health Conditions - Steven Fraser

Do It Theatre create Private Plays – unique theatrical events for adults who live with mental health conditions. Our work centres on illustration, literature and animation to convey theatrical stories within settings that remove the stimuli from traditional theatre that some individuals may find uncomfortable. In Private Plays, dialogue is replaced with text, characters replaced with illustrations and the audience becomes immersed in an original form of performance. Private Plays are presented in a specific method. Individuals enter the theatre space and are given a ‘zine. Inside this ‘zine is a theatre script, illustrations and a comic all conveying a story. The audience then walks around a theatre set that presents props, found objects, illustrations, animated flip books and interactive puppets. Participants read the script in the ‘zine and follow the instructions. Here they experience a theatrical performance that requires the use of imagination to bring the story to life. We embrace DIY culture and exciting ways to perform engaging stories. In 2014 Do It Theatre won a New Emerging Company Award from New Diorama Theatre London. We have also received Creative Scotland Open Funding and a Tom McGrath Grant to develop our work. We have presented our stories at festivals and venues throughout the UK including Rich Mix London, All Change Festival at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Horror Souk Festival Sheffield. Our new Private Play, Ten Little Memories, is taking place at the BasicSpace Festival London (17-21 February 2016), with subsequent performances at Ignite Sparks Festival Dundee (14 May 2016) and Hidden Door Festival Edinburgh (27 May - 4 June 2016). We would like to present the findings from staging Ten Little Memories and discuss how successful the performance has been in using illustration, ‘zines and comics in presenting theatre to adults who live with mental health problems.

avatar for Steven Fraser

Steven Fraser

Creative Director, Do It Theatre
Steven Fraser is an award-winning writer, animator and theatre-maker who experiments in different media including film, comic books and visual art. He is working with Do It Theatre to develop illustrated theatrical productions designed for adults who live with autism and mental health... Read More →

Shari Lambert

Creative Services Manager, Graphic Design, RTI International
Shari Lambert is a graphic designer and illustrator currently serving as Graphic Design Manager in the in-house Creative Services group at RTI International. RTI is a nonprofit research institute headquartered in the United States that conducts research for government and commercial... Read More →

Ilan Manouach

Ilan Manouach is a multidisciplinary artist with a focused interest in conceptual comics. He is also active as a publisher and a professional musician. He has published more than a dozen bookworks and curated 4 different anthologies bringing together contributions from artists, publishers... Read More →

Friday July 8, 2016 10:15 - 11:45 BST
Lecture Theater 1

Attendees (7)