Using comic workshops to investigate and disseminate the infertility experiences of Black and Minority Ethnic women in Wales

Researchers: Sofia Gameiro (Cardiff University, Welsh Crucible 2015); Berit Bliesemann de Guevara (Aberystwyth University, Welsh Crucible 2015)Elisabeth El Refaie (Cardiff University).

Researchers from psychology, politics and communication studies collaborated in this project to pilot a drawing workshop to investigate the infertility experiences of black and minority ethnic (BME) women.

This was the first project to employ an arts-based approach to explore the experiences of BME couples coping with infertility. The project overcame both language and cultural barriers to expressing these difficult experiences through the use of drawing workshops and encouraging the use of visual metaphors.

The research produced a booklet of drawings and quotes from the drawing workshops which has subsequently been presented to BME communities, charities, academics and media outlets. The booklet, Thorns and Flowers, is available online along with a video and other outputs. As a result of the project, the team have been able to inform and advise public outreach officers in the National Assembly on the use of their drawing method as an engagement tool as part of their “creative workshops” toolkit. Further afield, the metaphor-drawing approach is being used in Myanmar to explore civilians’ experiences of violent conflict.

In July 2017, the researchers were awarded the Welsh Crucible/Learning Society of Wales award for best collaborative project 2011-2015.