Nurturing empathy for social cohesion: Participatory, community-based communication design research with gay youth living with HIV in Lebanon

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • The marginalization of gay youth living with HIV (GYLWH) in Lebanese
    society is well documented. The topic of gay youth living with HIV in a deeply
    conservative and homophobic society has not been studied in any great
    depth. The story of gay youth in Lebanon is one of the stigmatization of
    minorities within and by other minorities. The question of how to break down
    ‘walls’ built on foundations of ignorance, intolerance, and self-loathing is
    yet to be examined. Using participatory, community-based communication
    design methods, this thesis project presents a model that uses visual
    communication design, in the form of digital storytelling (the making of
    videos), to help build trust among GYLWH in Beirut, Lebanon in order to
    remove barriers between groups and individuals and reduce stigma.
    The research project tested a design thinking process, for social designers
    dealing with marginalized groups, in the form of a workshop procedure that
    was implemented within/by a support group.

    This research was concerned with bridging the gap between GYLWH and
    their community, using visual communication design as a means of initiating
    a dialogue between the two groups. The research shed light on the lives
    and experiences of gay youth living with the virus. This process had a dual
    effect. It helped GYLWH to build confidence by allowing them to speak up and
    express themselves through sharing their stories with their community, and it
    nurtured empathy in gay youth (GY) by exposing them to the realities of living
    with HIV and by opening a discourse that resulted in their personal growth.

  • Date created
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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International