GRAPHIC NOVEL: Motherhood in Crisis, Sierra Leone

Productions

In the West African nation of Sierra Leone, one in 10 women die during childbirth. Healthcare systems are fragile – further strained by Ebola and now COVID-19 – and access to basic treatment is often limited.

The journeys that pregnant women take to reach healthcare provision can be long and traumatic. In this comic series, four women share their stories of hardship and survival in a country where falling pregnant means risking death.

READ CHAPTER 1: Birth in my village – Memunatu’s story
In Sierra Leone’s rural areas, far from hospital treatment, the majority of women and girls give birth at home. If complications arise the consequences can be life-altering.

READ CHAPTER 2: My stolen future – Heela’s story
For many school girls in Sierra Leone, pregnancy means the end of formal schooling and an uncertain future.

READ CHAPTER 3: The devil at my door – Kadiatu’s story
In Sierra Leone, trust in healthcare facilities is low and traditional medicine can provide a cheaper alternative. This can be deadly for mothers and their children.

READ CHAPTER 4: My punishment – Tetteh’s story
In Sierra Leone, laws are vague, poorly defined and disproportionately affect women. When Tetteh arrived in prison she was 3 months pregnant.

SPECIAL PROJECT: Using data to improve sanitation services in Lusaka.

Special Projects

Role: Engagement Consultant, Researcher & Designer.


“Data to Action” was a six week research and design consultancy project – a partnership between WSUP (Zambia) and NEEEU Spaces GmbH (in partnership with LWSC). The overall objective of this consultancy was to develop user interfaces, designed to demonstrate the impact of effective data management in the pursuit of building pit emptying businesses.

The project was to focus on converting the existing database (housing information from data collection activities in 2017), through co-creation with private service providers and government agencies, into a user-friendly digital tool. Applying a human- centred design approach, we conducted in-depth research with multiple stakeholders across the FSM Sector to ascertain the most useful means through which to effectively utilise data use. Upon completion of this research, we designed and tested, in collaboration with service providers, an integrated method for data collection, management and, in part, visualisation.

Illustration: Sheila Decloedt

“The Virtual Forest”. Using Virtual Reality to influence decision makers in Finland.

Productions, Writing

Designed to inform & influence Finnish policy makers, the “Virtual Forest” explores how current Forestry Management strategies are contributing towards climate breakdown. The 6 minute experience, led by the voice of Timo Vesala – Professor of Meteorology at the University of Helsinki, guides users through a hyper-real forest environment, combining verified science, creativity and domestic politics in one powerful story.

Incorporating immersive information visualisation, this experience allows users to travel forward in time to reveal future forests. The causes & symptoms of Climate Change has failed to dominate the political agenda in Finland. This experience holds a microscope to this issue.

Role: Writer, Researcher, Producer & Project Manager.


 

You can watch the 360 degrees video rendering of the experience below:

 

COMIC: Migrants on the Margins in Harare (Zimbabwe)

Productions

Migrants on the margins, is a three year project involving researchers from UK universities, international research partners and Graphic Novella specialists – Positive Negatives. The project focuses on the vulnerability and opportunities of migrants in some of the world’s most pressured cities, including Colombo (Sri Lanka), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Hargeisa (Somaliland).

UPDATE: In October 2019, the Migrants on the margins resources were awarded the 4-star award, in the Curriculum Impact category, of the Teach Secondary 2019 Awards.

DETAIL:

In January-February 2018, I was commissioned by Positive Negatives to travel to Harare to document the experiences of people living in informal settlements across the city. Working in line with the Positive Negatives methodology, I interviewed a number of people who shared a range of rich stories. A selection of these stories were developed into a final comic.

Below you can find the finished comic and a series of photos from the trip, including: travels to Hopley and Porta Farm, script development exercises and discussions with local artists.

TAWANDA’S STORY: 

Tawanda 1_bTawanda 2_bTawanda 3_b

Tawanda 4_b_CorrectedTawanda 5_bIllustrations by Lindsay Pollock

Pre-prep images & images from Hopley

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Photo-story at Porta Farm:

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

CO-CREATOR – SPECIAL PROJECT: Dementia Diaries

Uncategorized

Role 2015-2016: Co-creator, Producer, Editor, Writer, Mentor & Co-ordinator. Current: Senior Consultant.


Dementia Diaries is a UK-wide project that brings together people’s diverse experiences of living with dementia as a series of audio diaries. It serves as a public record and a personal archive that documents the views, reflections and day-to-day lives of people living with dementia, with the aim of prompting dialogue and changing attitudes.

How does the project work?

As the use of technology often becomes more difficult for those living with dementia, this project uses diarists’ own mobile or land-lines. Some people also use our 3D printed mobile handsets, which are customised to be as simple as possible, allowing us to both record audio diary entries and capture thoughts and experiences as they occur.

These handsets are linked to a dedicated voicemail and as soon as a diary entry is recorded, it is automatically sent via the internet to the editorial team at On Our Radar. The team will then listen to it, transcribe it and curate it for publication.

Project timeline: 

The Dementia Diaries initiative was designed by myself and the team at non-profit communications agency On Our Radar (www.onourradar.org). It was launched in January 2015 in partnership with Innovations in Dementia, Ownfone and Comic Relief, and was handed over to Innovations in Dementia in August 2016.

Whilst working on Dementia Diaries, I worked with participants to share their stories of their experiences of diagnosis (the Mirror), unexpected symptoms (Buzzfeed), inspiring stories (Buzzfeed), day-to-day living (BBC) and much more. We co-produced a film for the Guardian with three of the Diarists.

You can find an independent evaluation of the project here. 

WEB-DOC/PRINT/DIGITAL: “Back in Touch” – Life After Ebola in Sierra Leone (EJC Funded)

Uncategorized

Screenshot 2022-05-17 at 16.21.17

WATCH: Back in Touch web documentary

The world’s media extensively covered the Ebola crisis at its peak, but over time, the epidemic’s impact on communities in West Africa has fallen off the news agenda.

And while millions of donor dollars eventually poured in to help contain and defeat the virus, its after effects – social, cultural and economic – will continue to be felt for years to come.

After Ebola picks up the story where the world left off. A partnership between New Internationalist magazine and media advocates On Our Radar, this multi-platform project reconnects with On Our Radar’s trained network of citizen reporters in Sierra Leone to build a comprehensive picture of the disease’s aftermath.

Phase one offered the ‘story behind the story’. On the After Ebola hub, you can see the germination of the recovery stories that reporters investigated across the country, starting from SMS messages.

These ideas were the building blocks for a web documentary / digital feature Back in Touch, which was published on 27 May. Narrated by citizen journalists, it draws on the experiences of ordinary Sierra Leoneans, offering an intimate window into how communities cope with, and process, an epidemic.

Then the June edition of New Internationalist magazine took a critical look at the humanitarian response and health systems deficit. Ebola is not a new disease – it’s been around since 1976 – so why did over 11,000 West Africans die 2014-16? Did we learn the right lessons from the outbreak, and is Sierra Leone ready, should the virus return?

Tune into the story on Twitter with #AfterEbola.

ARTICLE – Smashing Magazine: Designing A Dementia-Friendly Website (UK)

Uncategorized

An ever growing number of web users around the world are living with dementia. They have very varied levels of computer literacy and may be experiencing some of the following issues: memory loss, confusion, issues with vision and perception, difficulties sequencing and processing information, reduced problem-solving abilities, or problems with language.

In this piece, we shared some lessons we learned about making a dementia-friendly front end on a tight budget.