Our first Bucket Loads of Health exhibition – an exhibition of public engagement in water science – was held on October 3rd at the H.B Thom Theatre foyer in Stellenbosch! This exhibition showcased the #BucketLoadsofHealth project, a public engagement in science project funded by Wellcome Trust. It included the works of Abakhuthazi Bomphakathi – Inspirers of the Community, from Enkanini in Stellenbosch and the Water Research Laboratory of the Stellenbosch University Microbiology Department.
Exhibition attendees were able to learn about the Bucket Loads of Health project, see what public engagement in science can look like, as well as meet with project participants and members of the research team. One could stand face to face with life size body maps that share Abakhuthazi Bomphakathi’s experiences of water and health in their community. Community maps, hand maps, photos showing the activities of the creative and knowledge exchange workshops, and research posters were also on show.
Prof Eugene Cloete, Vice-Rector for Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at Stellenbosch University (SU), attended the exhibition and officially opened the exhibition. Film viewings of three short films made through the Bucket Loads of Health project followed the official opening.
Doing it Differently provides a synopsis of how the knowledge exchange process unfolded during the project. It shows how the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation has taken an innovative approach to public engagement in science. We hope that Doing it Differently conveys why public engagement is important and how it can be valuable for everyone who takes part.
Our Water Challenges was created with Abakhuthazi Bomphakathi – Inspirers of the Community from Enkanini. The film shows their experiences and stories, highlighting their most urgent priorities relating to water in the place that they live. It was made for the key purpose of mobilization, and a mobilization event was held in Enkanini on September 18th.
Anathi’s Vision shares Anathi Tyawa’s vision of how he sees a future without water. Anathi Tyawa is one of the residents who took part in the Bucket Loads of Health project.
We hope this exhibition has encouraged researchers to strengthen the engagement element of their research programs. Thank you to all who attended the #bucketloadsofhealth exhibition and for the many positive comments on our #visualmethods approach.