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Using film to break down barriers

7 December 2012

 

In this guest blog, Body & Soul’s Emily Kerr Muir explains more about the the charity’s BIG-funded, youth-led project. Through the power of film, it has helped celebrate difference and increase understanding of HIV and other sigmatised issues.

Last week, Body & Soul welcomed friends and supporters to the Curzon in Mayfair for the UK Premiere of Undefeated, the film at the heart of our Life in My Shoes campaign. Life in My Shoes is pioneering in that it challenges the fear and hate surrounding HIV and builds empathy and understanding of life in each others’ shoes.

Undefeated is the short film based on the real experiences of young people living with HIV and first of many exiting initiatives from Life in My Shoes. You can watch the trailer at the top of this blog.

Untitled-1The premiere was a fantastic opportunity to bring together many of our patrons and supporters including Emily Head, Gordon Roddick and Christine Ohuruogu. We also welcomed celeb supporters Trevor Eve, Sway and Iwan Rheon and big names from the cast – Pearl Mahaga, Samuel Anderson and Robin Weaver. Watch interviews with them on our YouTube channel.

We’re looking forward to next steps with the campaign and film, which will soon be available as part of an interactive, curriculum-linked education resource aimed at teaching young people the importance of celebrating difference and increasing understanding around HIV and other stigmatised issues in society.

One of the many inspiring things about Life in My Shoes and the project is that it is youth–centred and youth-led. It’s their stories and experiences that need to be heard, and films such as Undefeated are a great way to get conversations and discussions around this topic to the surface, into the classroom and beyond.

It’s important that we share our stories, that we give each other an opportunity to step into one another’s shoes. There are many ways we can do this and below is a beautiful example written by a young person from Body & Soul.

The me you don’t see

We wake each morning
Each morning
With dragging souls
Empty with confusion
Heart heavy with pain
Minds with worry that the body
that houses them may one day collapse.

We wear smiles
worn out in the battle of life
Carry battle scars
Unseen in the steps that
Stamp on concrete
Faking confidence
Holding breaths
That whispers secret prayers
Prayers in bottles that
Carry our names
Typed along with HIV+
Prayers that one day that thick line
Between you and I will
Will be as invisible as the me you don’t see.

For more on the Life in My Shoes campaign and Undefeated film, please visit www.lifeinmyshoes.org, follow us on Twitter @life_inmyshoes or on facebook.com/lifeinmyshoescampaign.

Emily Kerr Muir is Life in My Shoes Campaign Director at Body & Soul

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