Polio Monologues: translating ethnographic text into verbatim theatre

Shah, S. and Greer, S. (2018) Polio Monologues: translating ethnographic text into verbatim theatre. Qualitative Research, 18(1), pp. 53-69. (doi: 10.1177/1468794117696141)

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Mass vaccination programmes mean that poliomyelitis is almost a forgotten memory in the Global North. But in reality its effects continue as many people who contracted paralytic polio in childhood may develop functional deterioration (Post-Polio Syndrome or PPS) in later adulthood; mass migration and escape from violence means that it is also re-emerging in contemporary societies. Thus it is crucial for different audiences to have opportunities to engage with, and understand the life histories of polio survivors and their personal experiences of disease and disability across biographical and historical time. This article discusses the process of using recorded delivery verbatim techniques, with disabled and non-disabled actors, to translate ethnographic research about social history of polio into a creative accessible medium for new generation audiences to learn about the hidden, often contested, histories of disability and disease that may collide with professional, medical and public discourse. Our contention is that ethnodrama can give a voice to the voiceless, and enable them to contribute to the production of new knowledge, health interventions and policy instruments that affect their lives.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Greer, Dr Stephen and Shah, Dr Sonali
Authors: Shah, S., and Greer, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Qualitative Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-3109
Published Online:24 March 2017

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