Monthly Archives: February 2012
With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Vancouver Foundation, the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and the BC Society of Transition Houses have conducted groundbreaking research on the barriers to affordable housing for women leaving abusive relationships. 45 women across BC participated in the project, taking over 500 photos of their experiences related directly to their daily lives. Then, with facilitation from local research coordinators in 4 different communities, the women gave voice to each photo through a recorded testimonial. This research methodology, called PhotoVoice, is a powerful tool used, most often, by academic researchers looking to get real insight into a social issue, with particular focus on disempowered groups and those individuals that experience systemic oppression.
The data and findings of this project have been synthesized into final report entitled “Surviving Not Thriving: The Systemic Barriers to Housing for Women Leaving Violent Relationships.” Watershed Productions was asked to create a video that would complement a facilitation guide so that the research could be widely shared with policy makers, city councillors, and community members in an effort to create social change around the issue of affordable housing for women leaving abusive relationships.
The final video will be launched in March. It focuses on 9 photos from the original set of 500 paired with voice overs from women reading the testimonial that matches each photo. The opening and closing sequences of the video reveal a series of clotheslines hung in an empty city lot, with the entire collection of photos strung up, in a powerful visual testament to the collective experience of the women who participated in the PhotoVoice project.
Watershed Productions will be working with the Columbia Basin Trust in coming months to tell the stories of at least 30 Basin residents who have experienced the transformation of the valleys since the 1964 Columbia River Treaty. Both Amy Bohigian and Rachel Schmidt will be travelling across the Basin to multiple locations including Valemount, Nakusp, and Castlegar to record these important first-person accounts and ensure that this historical information is archived.
Rural Transcapes is a topical film that profiles four transgendered individuals who have chosen to live in the rural area of the Kootenays. Christopher Moore is one of the people featured in the film and is the founder of the TransConnect Program, which provides outreach services to transgendered folks around the East and West Kootenays.
Amy Bohigian of Watershed Productions was asked by Christopher last year to create an educational tool and the result is this 30 minute film, which delves into the difficult and inspiring stories of courage and authenticity. The film also features Dr. Chris Cochrane and Dr. Esta Porter, two medical professionals based in Nelson who work directly with the transgendered community. At a time when Chaz Bono has made transgendered a household word, let this film create a deeper appreciation of what it truly means for the folks featured in the film.
This film is set for release and will be used as an educational tool across Canada and the US. To learn more about the film and obtain a copy of the DVD for your school, organization or for home use, please contact 250 354-5362.