Urgent message from
Clare Coultas, PhD
NIHR ARC South London
I have an application ready for an ESRC Impact Acceleration Grant (deadline 15th September) but the UK-based youth org I was planning to partner with on this has sadly had to pull out last minute owing to COVID-related cutbacks. It’s the last round of this grant available at my university, so I thought I’d just have a go and see if any of you are running projects or working with youth orgs that might align with / be interested in partnering on this.
I would want to make this project work for the youth org so the details/specifics on how its run can be decided on together, but the core idea is to co-develop a comic with UK-based youth in dialogue with Tanzanian youth (through an activist org that I have a long-standing relationship with), that would be used to start a dialogue with global health policymakers and comprehensive sexuality education curriculum designers. Discussions would be based on my PhD research that found that many young Tanzanians believe that young people in the UK/West have the perfect, trusting/monogamous, and rights-based relationships that they’re taught about in sex education programmes, and these beliefs contribute to young Tanzanians’ feelings of inferiority and difference compared to imagined global Others (see here for the original article on this: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bjKR-CmUpMB9). I think this raises important questions about how human rights are represented (e.g. as a Western thing, which fails to acknowledge the long-standing and rapidly advancing inequities and injustices globally), and about how representations of ‘the ideal’ in youth behaviour change / empowerment programmes can actually be exclusionary rather than inspire as intended. There would also be scope for hiring a UK-based youth sexual health practitioner who could facilitate discussions on topics that are important to UK-based youth. I have a comic designer in-mind who can illustrate scenes in both UK and Tanzanian contexts, but if the youth org / youth project already has an artist, then we could look to design the comic with two artists (i.e. pair with a Tanzanian artist) – as I said the details for how this could be run is very open!! What is needed for the application would be a skype finalising the details, budget, and a letter of partnership/support from the org / project.
I know this is a long-shot in such a short time-framing, so thank you for reading this and for any ideas that you can share!
Tel: +44 (0)207 848 6630