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exPeriments at the interfaCe betWeen art, anthroPology and sCienCe to re-design health CamPaigns against mosquitoborne diseases Alejandro Valencia Tobón

Ways of KnoWing: Creative Pedagogies for digital literaCy Catalina Alzate

Colombia

This design case includes two examples of design projects that look at digital literacy as a political act with the potential to empower people. The basic premise is that digital literacy is not an isolated educational and technical component for communities, but in order to be meaningful, it must derive from current social and cultural practices, and find scenarios where technology adds value. Therefore, digital literacy is an experience, and not an end-product.

So considering that these three diseases are transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito (mainly Aedes aegypti), and knowing that mosquitoes breed in water, health campaigns against them have been based on standardised templates for ‘teaching’ the community how to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites, a discourse to which people do not respond. I present mosquitoborne diseases from a different point of view, suggesting that the ‘over- automatisation’ of health campaigns should be replaced by new ways of seeing and thinking about them. Through the creation of Vampires (https://goo. gl/Da7Yyn), the Mosquito Kite (http://goo.gl/ oQt2gV), Serotype (http://goo.gl/NnTg6P) and Buzzing (https://goo.gl/Zjjzmu), I argue that the simplistic understanding of mosquito-borne diseases focused on the elimination of mosquitobreeding sites only leads us to have inaccurate and imprecise observations of the humanmosquito-virus relationship.

The two projects were carried out in rural areas of the state of Karnataka, India, with two communities of women, who engaged in a pedagogical process using digital tools. During participatory sessions, we constantly re-looked at how technology can be part of social arrangements where people have more control over their own lives individually. This approach to digital literacy is informed by the principles of empowerment, citizenship and individual rights. It gives priority to cultural meanings, and poses digital devices as artifacts that are embodied by people and can extend their capacity of communication and transformation. The methodologies of ‘Ways of Knowing’ include participatory processes, the use of digital devices and experiential learning.

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Reality is that the number of people who get infected with mosquito-borne diseases is higher every year. Dengue is ranked as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease. Zika is now considered a public health emergency of international concern. Chikungunya has been identified in 60 countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) argues that this is because of biological and ecological variables, for example, abandoned materials and domestic water storage serve as mosquito-breeding sites.

India

Profile for Alejandro Valencia-Tobón

Exhibition Catalogue ISEA2017  

Catalogue of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts ISEA2017 and the International Image Festival. See the Design Case 'Experiments...

Exhibition Catalogue ISEA2017  

Catalogue of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts ISEA2017 and the International Image Festival. See the Design Case 'Experiments...

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