McGill International Cellphilm Festival

Re-Visioning Cellphilm Methodologies Virtual Symposium

Welcome Message

A Message from the Organizing Committee

The virtual symposium aims to advance critical dialogue and re-imagine the co-production of knowledge through cellphilming. Key re-imaginings include the ways we can decolonize cellphilm methodology to support participatory work in new ways (especially in relation to Covid-19 and beyond) and with underrepresented groups (youth with disabilities, refugee youth, and older adults) for whom finding new ways for engagement is key. The presentations and roundtable discussions will strengthen ties between the body of interdisciplinary researchers, practitioners, collectives and NGOs interested in participatory visual methods in social research. 

The symposium will inform the production of a publication entitled ‘Re-visioning Cellphilming’, co-edited by Mitchell, Sadati & Starr to be published by Springer as well as inspire the production of a documentary film called ‘Let’s Get Cellphilming!’ which will provide much needed conceptual and practical support for cellphilming methodology.

You can read more about this symposium in the concept note.

Program of Events

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Introductions & Opening

L. Starr, C. Mitchell, H. Sadati (McGill) 

A Cellphilm Retrospective

Playlist of “Lasting Impressions” Cellphilms

Day 1

Roundtable 1

Re-visioning: Working in new ways


S. Amodeo (McGill)

Reflexively revisiting three participatory cellphilm archives

C. Burkholder (UNB)

“The other side of the wall’: participatory video and verbatim theatre

A. Capstick (Bradford)

Exploring object pedagogies for cellphilming in virtual and remote environments

S. Switzer (CCBR)


M. Schleser (Swinburne)

Day 1

Roundtable 2


Who are we working with now?


A. Weenie (First Nations University)

When can I make a cellphilm?: Reflecting and developing cellphilming with young children

J. Schwab-Cartas (UBC) & P. Caldairou-Bessette (McGill)

The ‘story behind the story’: Accounts of youth cellphilm-makers on Covid-19

S. Roy & H. Sadati (McGill)

Still connected: On the use of cellphilming as part of art making with refugee children and young people

N. Bandarchian Rashti (McGill)

Supporting critical digital literacy practices in secondary education: students’ arts-based institutional ethnographies

A. Rosenberg (McGill)

Day 1

Speaking Back

Convened by:

C. Mitchell & H. Sadati (McGill)


Thursday, June 9, 2022
Day 2

Panel 1

NGO panel


C. Vanner (University of Windsor)

Panel Discussion


D. Simpson

Plan Canada

A. Sheriff


R. Nita




Day 2

Roundtable 3

Re-visioning: What does agency have to do with it?


M. Ghadirain (McGill)

Facilitating girls’ agency through speaking back cellphilms in a rural community in South Africa

R. Moletsane & Ls Wiebesiek (UKZN)

There is no connection between us and our children at all”: Pre-screening dialogue for intergenerational connection

N. Yamile & N. de Lange (NMU)

“What about « face value »?” The ethics of the no-face approach to cellphilms in Mali

F. Keita (ULSHB) & K. Lussier (McGill)

Preparing to help adolescent girls and boys to use cellphilms in a participatory project to improve their sexual and reproductive health in Bauchi, Nigeria

A. Cockcroft, (McGill), U. Ansari (CIET), K. Omer (CIET), Y. Gidado (FOMWAN)


Day 2

Roundtable 4


Cellphilming in the age of Covid-19 & beyond


C. Jones (McGill)

Cellphilm in the light of COVID – A positive enabler to keep advocating for the voices of young women with disabilities

L. Dang (Hanoi Law)

Beyond the workshop: Reflections on providing rural youth in India with cellphones for cellphilm activism during COVID-19

R. Panda (Oxfam India) K. MacEntee (UofT)

Cellphilming online: Mobilizing youth knowledge about the pandemic during the pandemic in Quebec

J. Thompson & R. M. Perez (UdeM)

Bringing intersectionality theory to life: Storying experiences of navigating the triple pandemics through cellphilming

S.Flicker (York), M. Owino (York) & K. MacEntee (UofT)

Day 2

Panel 2

Staying Connected


L. Starr (McGill)

Panel Discussion

Participatory Cultures Lab (McGill)

C. Mitchell

Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change (UKZN, SA)

R. Moletsane

Participatory Visual Research 4 Social Change Lab (UNB)

C. Burkholder

Centre for Transformative Media Technologies (Swinburne University of Technology, AUS)

  M. Schleser


Symposium Speakers

Sarah Amodeo

Sarah Amodeo is a PhD student in Education Studies in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. She is also a teacher in the Adult Education sector of the English Montreal School Board. The focus of her research is around the experiences of students in this sector. Her masters thesis used autoethnography to explore female immigrant and refugee experiences in the English, Academic Adult Education classroom. As a researcher, she is interested in using visual methodologies to further authorship about the day-to-day experiences of students in Adult Education with the purpose of improving their academic journey.
In her PhD studies, she plans to use cellphilming to better understand adolescent experiences in Adult Education in Montreal Quebec. At present she is in the final process of creating cellphilms with her students to participate in the Annual Cellphilm festival at McGill in the Faculty of Education.

Umaira Ansari

Ms Umaira Ansari trained as a lawyer in Pakistan before taking up a keen interest in human rights and, more specifically, women’s rights in the country. She is an advocate of the human rights movement in Pakistan and an active and vocal supporter of the rights of women and girls.

In 2004 she joined CIET and to work with communities across Pakistan, connecting people with the government and building their voices into planning. From 2009 she worked in Bauchi State, Nigeria, on a project strengthening the health system, with a focus on maternal and child health.

Since 2015, she is part of a CIET team working closely with a local NGO (Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria) and with the State Ministry of Health. The team implemented a programme of home visits to share evidence about actionable risk factors for maternal health with pregnant women and their spouses, including using smart phones to show video clips in a soap-opera style. The team also worked with women and men in communities to systematise local knowledge about causes of kunika (short birth interval) and to co-design short docudramas to show during the home visits. The video clips about kunika, with English subtitles, can be viewed here. More information about these projects is available on the CIET website.

In her current work with adolescent girls and boys in Bauchi, Ms Ansari is a part of a team using fuzzy cognitive mapping to hear the views of adolescents and other stakeholders about factors that contribute to good adolescent sexual and reproductive health. Later in the project, she will work with girls and boys (10-19 years) to create cellphilms to share their experiences and views about their sexual and reproductive health.

Nesa Rashti Bandarchian

Nesa Bandarchian Rashti is a PhD Candidate, under the supervision of Dr. Claudia Mitchell, in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education (DISE) at McGill University. She is also a Research Assistant in the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the Participatory Cultures Lab. Her research interests lie in the area of girlhood studies and Participatory Visual Methodologies. She is passionate about learning and helping others to learn!

Casey Burkholder

Dr. Casey Burkholder is an Associate Professor at the University of New Brunswick, interested in critical teacher-education, and participatory visual research. In choosing a research path at the intersection of resistance&activism, gender, sexuality, DIY media-making, art production and participatory archiving, Casey engages in research for social change through participatory visual approaches to local issues with youth and pre-service teachers. She is the co-founder of the Fredericton Feminist Film Collective, and is the co-president of the Language & Literacy Researchers of Canada (2021-2023). Dr. Burkholder began using cellphilm method in her doctoral work in Hong Kong (2015-2018) where she worked with racialized ethnic minorities (her former students) to create cellphilms about identity, belonging & resistance amidst the Umbrella Revolution. Together, they created We Are Hong Kong Too–a Youtube based archive of cellphilms. Since her doctoral work, she has worked with cellphilm method to explore existing and desired sex education with queer, trans, and non-binary youth in New Brunswick. She has also worked with cellphilm method to disrupt the erasures of queer and trans histories from Social Studies education in New Brunswick as well as in her work as a teacher educator at the University of New Brunswick.


Twitter: @CM_Burkholder

Prudence Caldairou-Bessette

Dr. Prudence Caldairou-Bessette holds a PhD/PsyD degree of UQAM and a psychology doctorate from the Université de Strasbourg. She is a clinical psychologist and an FQRSC-funded Postdoctoral fellow at both the Department of Integrated studies in Education and the Department of Social and Transcultural Psychiatry at McGill University, under the supervision of Dr Claudia Mitchell at the Participatory culture’s Lab and Dr Lucie Nadeau at the SHERPA University institute. She is also an adjunct professor of humanistic psychology at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Dr. Caldairou-Bessette works with children and families in different settings, including the public heath system (Youth mental heath services), and gives priority to helping families with precarious and vulnerable life situations. Namely, she has been working with migrant, refugee and asylum seeking families for many years, in clinic and research. She also works as a clinical psychologist at KSCS community service center in Kahnawake and teaches psychology at College Kiuna of the First Nations Education Counsel.
Her Postdoctoral research is entitled « Including Children in Transcultural Mental Heath Research” aims to develop methods to listen to children in different contexts, especially through arts-based participatory methods. In her work with the Participatory culture’s lab, she has contributed to the development of the cellphilm method with young children and is interested in developing it further.

For more information :

Andrea Capstick

Andrea Capstick is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies at the University of Bradford, UK, where she teaches on the MSc Advanced Dementia Studies programme, leading modules on dementia, human rights and practice change. Andrea worked with the late Professor Tom Kitwood and, with Clive Baldwin, later co-wrote and edited Tom Kitwood on Dementia: A reader and critical commentary.  She holds a Doctorate in Education (EdD) for her work on the use of film and first-person narrative biography in dementia education. In 2009 she completed her training in participatory video and began to adapt this method to the needs and abilities of people living with dementia.  She was funded by the UK National Institute for Health Research (School for Social Care Research) to carry out the study ‘Can participatory video improve social participation and well b-being for people with dementia in long-term care?’ She regularly uses enhanced methods such as film, photography, digital storytelling, walking interviews, graphic art and ethnodrama both to create and to disseminate data from research studies related to people living with dementia.  Her most recent research focuses on the experiences of care home staff working with people with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic.  The research findings from this study have been turned into a piece of verbatim theatre (Voices from the frontline) which is currently being performed at festivals and conferences in the UK.

Anne Cockcroft

Dr. Anne Cockcroft is a professor in PRAM (Participatory Research at McGill), department of Family Medicine at McGill university. She has a clinical background in respiratory and occupational medicine. Over the last 25 years, she has worked with communities in low- and middle-income countries, supporting them to collect information about their health concerns and access to services, and to use this to interact with service providers to seek solutions.  In Bauchi State, Nigeria, Dr Cockcroft and her team work closely with a local NGO (Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations of Nigeria) and with the State Ministry of Health. Together, they implemented a programme of home visits to share evidence about actionable risk factors for maternal health with pregnant women and their spouses, including using smart phones to show video clips in a soap-opera style. They worked with women and men in communities to systematise local knowledge about causes of kunika (short birth interval) and to co-design short docudramas to show during the home visits. The video clips about kunika, with English subtitles, can be viewed here.
More information about recent work of Dr Cockcroft and her team in Nigeria and Botswana is available in the CIET website and the PRAM website.
Dr Cockcroft and her team are novices in cellphilming! In their current work with adolescent girls and boys in Bauchi they are using fuzzy cognitive mapping to hear the views of adolescents and other stakeholders about factors that contribute to good adolescent sexual and reproductive health. They plan to work with girls and boys (10-19 years) to create cellphilms for sharing their experiences and views between genders and with others in the community and services.

Linh Dang

Linh Dang is currently working with children with disabilities in a non-profit organization and engaging in disability research and activism projects collaborated by international researchers from Canada, South Africa and India and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) in Viet Nam. To represent the voices of youth with disabilities, Linh is a member of the Young Peoples Action Team (YPAT) of the Global Generation Unlimited (GenU)‚ Decision-Making Bodies, UNICEF. Linh also involved in the ASEAN youth forum and the transnational network of girls and women with disabilities in the Global South. An outcome of her professional work can be demonstrated in two published articles with the Canadian Journal of Children‚ Rights (Dang, 2019) and Agenda (Nguyen, Dang & Mitchell, 2021) where she sought to emphasize the collective engagement and activism of young women and girls with disabilities from the Global South.

Naydene de Lange

Naydene de Lange is Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Education at Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa. Her research focuses on using participatory visual methodologies in addressing gender-based violence and HIV&AIDS issues, and integrating HIV&AIDS into higher education curricula.

Sarah Flicker

Sarah Flicker is a York Research Chair in Community Based Participatory Research and Full Professor in the Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University.  She is engaged in an exciting program of research that focuses on the engagement of youth and other actors in environmental, sexual and reproductive justice. More broadly, she is interested in community-based participatory methodologies and is active on a variety of research teams that focus on adolescent sexual health, well-being and responding to gender-based violence in Canada and South Africa. Recently, she has published in the areas of health promotion, sexuality, ethics, decolonizing methodologies, participatory visual methods and community-based participatory research methods. Her research has informed policy at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.  Sarah and her teams have won several prestigious awards for youth engagement in health research.  Sarah (she/her) is a straight, white, able-bodied, Jewish, cisgender female, of immigrant/settler descent who tries to understand the pervasive effects of privilege, and her roles and responsibilities as a treaty person.  She is an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.
Sarah has used cellphilm method in her work with youth and adults to examine complex health and social relationships including trading sex, gender-based violence, settler colonialism and anti-black racism. She is currently writing a book about Cellphilm Method with Dr. Katie MacEntee


Mona Ghadirian

Mona has been working with youth to produce videos that address social, health, and nutritional issues that adolescents are facing. Mona has a BASc in International Development and Biomedical Science from McGill University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Waterloo. She has over 15 years of experience working in community development and adolescent empowerment. Her doctoral research aimed to understand how participatory video nutrition education plays a role in influencing nutrition literacy among adolescent girls in rural Ghana.

For more information:

Yagana Muhammad Gidado

Mrs Yagana Muhammad Gidado is a Nigerian registered nurse and midwife, with a national diploma in Midwifery education. She has a certificate on Evidence Based Health Planning from the University of Guerrero, Mexico. She worked as Bauchi State Director of nursing services from 2002-2007. She served as President of the Bauchi State Chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Association in Nigeria (FOWAN) and is currently a member of the board of governors and the health team lead for the organization.

From 2009-2013 she worked in collaboration with CIET and the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency CIET on a project to support evidence-based planning of health services in Bauchi, especially for maternal and child health. She was principal investigator for two projects in Bauchi funded under the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative. One project demonstrated the impact of universal home visits to support maternal and child health and the other explored local knowledge about causes of kunika (short birth interval) and developed communication materials about this for inclusion in the home visits. The video clips about kunika, with English subtitles, can be viewed here. More information about these projects is available on the CIET website. Mrs Gidado is part of the research team that is hearing the views of adolescent girls and boys about their sexual and reproductive health and will later work with Bauchi adolescents to create cellphilms.

Cassandra Jones

Cassandra Jones is pursuing a PhD in Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. She holds an MSc in Medical Anthropology from the University of Oxford. Building on her MSc dissertation on approaches to death and dying and sensory-based therapies, as an end-of-life doula and research-practitioner, Cassandra’s PhD research (funded by SSHRC Doctoral Award) focuses on using participatory visual and arts-based methodologies to explore the sensorial therapies, practices of care, and sensory environments of the hospital at end-of-life. Through using sensory ethnography, specifically walking-video method, a phenomenological arts-based method, that uses walking and cellphilming as a method to explore in real-time the sensory experience of institutional care and design. Cassandra’s research and approach is to explore and connect academia with community, and institutional practices with wellness practices. Cassandra is trained in complementary wellness approaches and therapiesas a certified yoga teacher, contemplative science (meditation and mindfulness) teacher, and contemplative end-of-life care (end-of-life doula specializing in sensory care).She has worked as a community educator and facilitator since 2011 using community and participatory arts-based practices to address issues related to gender, empowerment, and sexuality within schools and with underserved communities in Montreal. As a research assistant turned researcher, she has worked on various government funded projects on preventing gender-based violence, including cyberviolence and rape culture on Canadian CEGEPs and University campuses. 

Fatoumata Keita

Dr. Fatoumata KEITA is an Assistant Professor of Literature at the English Department (Université des Lettres et des Sciences  Humaines of Bamako, Mali). Her teaching and research focus on Africana women’s social and political activism as reflected in their autobiographical and fictional writings. Her research interests encompass also gender and postcolonial studies, education and curriculum development. Her recent research explores the tropes of struggle, survival  and empowerment in Africana women Nobel laureates’ writings (Toni Morrison, Wangari Maathai, Leymah Gbowee and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf).

Dr. Keita is a member of the Malian Women Academic Network and serves also the Gender Focal Point of her Faculty, a position that enables her to lobby the university authorities for gender equity and women’s inclusion in the decision-making processes and positions. She graduated from the University Gaston Berger of Saint-Louis, Senegal where she earned a doctorate degree in American literature (2014). She was a Fulbright research scholar at the Columbia University Institute of African Studies in NYC (2017-2018). She is member of  the PREAM  team at ULSHB.

Kattie Lussier

Kattie Lussier is a researcher at the institute for Human Development and Wellbeing at McGill university and works on the project Participatory Research on Education and Agency in Mali (PREAM), a three-years study using cellphilming with adolescents from conflict-affected areas in Mali. Kattie works in the field of international development and co-operation since 1998. She holds a doctorate in development studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, in England and a masters in assessment and evaluation from the University of Montreal. Specialized in participatory methods, she has been particularly active in education, community development and gender sectors and has worked on several projects in Africa, Latin America and Asia. As a consultant and researcher, she worked for UNESCO, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank, UNDP, OIF, different bilateral donors as well as several NGOs and companies specializing in international co-operation. She has conducted fieldwork in over 20 countries including 8 countries in Africa.  Before joining McGill in 2019 she occupied the position of assistant professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea and prior to that was a research fellow at the Centre for International Education (CIE) and the Center for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER) at the University of Sussex.


Katie MacEntee

Dr. Katie MacEntee is a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Dalla Lana School of Public Healthin the University of Toronto and in the Faculty of Health at York University. Her research is interdisciplinary and spans the areas health and education with a focus on the use of participatory visual methodologies to study HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence, youth homelessness and inclusive education. As a post-doctoral fellow on the Peer Navigator Project (funder: CIHR, PI: Paula Braitstein) she has been studying the adaptation and implementation of a peer navigator model to support street-connected youth access HIV and AIDS health services in Canada and Kenya. At York University, she is based in the LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research and studying the concept of thriving as it relates to the intersections of youth marginalization. 

Katie is a leader in the field of cellphilm method. In 2016, she co-edited What’s a Cellphilm: Integrating mobile technology into research and activism. She has used the cellphilm method with young people and adults in diverse contexts internationally to explore a range of topics. In 2021, she published the article The Quilted Cellphilm Method (Journal of Global Public Health), which presents unique adaptations to the method that support marginalized groups to explore highly stigmatized topics. She is currently co-authoring a second book on cellphilm method with Sarah Flicker, entitled Using Cellphilms in Research and Teaching for Social Change. It is due to launch with Routledge in winter 2022/23

Claudia Mitchell

Claudia Mitchell is a Distinguished James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University and an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. At McGill she is the Director of the Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the founder and director of the Participatory Cultures Lab, a research and training unit in the Faculty of Education funded through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Her research focuses on participatory visual and arts based approaches to working with young people and communities in relation to addressing critical social issues such as gender equality and gender-based violence and in a wide range of country contexts in West Africa, Southern and Eastern Africa, and East Asia Pacific.  She also  leads several   funded projects working with  Indigenous youth and focusing on arts-based approaches to address sexual violence, and is currently heading up a project funded the Ministry of Health and Security (MSSS) on Canadian Youth Talking about Pandemic Experiences (CYTAPE).  She has been particularly interested in the ways in which participatory video/ cellphilming can be used to engage communities. She is the author/co-editor of a number of related publication including the Handbook of Participatory Video and Participatory Methodologies: Social Change, Community and Policy.

Relebohile Moletsane

Relebohile Moletsane is Professor and the JL Dube Chair in Rural Education in the School of Education and Pro Vice Chancellor: Social Cohesion at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She uses participatory visual methodology, including cellphilms with marginalised groups to do research on rural education and development, girlhood studies, gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in South African rural schools and communities.  She is co-editor (with Claudia Mitchell) of the 2018 book, Disrupting Shameful Legacies: Girls and Young Women Speak Back Through the Arts to Address Sexual Violence. Rotterdam: Brill/Sense Publishers; and co-editor (with Lisa Wiebeisek, Astrid Treffry-Goately and April Mandrona) of the 2021 book: Ethical Practice in Participatory Visual Research with Girls and Young Women in Rural Communities. New York; Oxford: Berghahn Books.

Rotbah Nitia

Rotbah Nitia is development practitioner and is currently working with Oxfam Canada as Manager, Program Impact within the International Programs Department. She is an experienced evaluator with a focus on complex social programs in area of gender equality, women’s rights, health and economic development. She has experience using various methodologies including feminist methodologies to measure and evaluate gender transformative changes. Over the past ten years, Rotbah has established a strong record of supporting regional program design, monitoring, evaluation, knowledge translation and learning initiatives on development programs in South and East Asia as well as Sub-Saharan Africa. Rotbah has worked with local women’s organization and social businesses in Bangladesh as well as the International Finance Corporation (World Bank). Rotbah holds a BSc with major in Health Studies and minors in International Development and Psychology from the University of Toronto and MSc in Public Policy and Management from SOAS University of London.

Khalid Omer

Dr Khalid Omer from Pakistan is a research fellow with the Centro de Investigación de EnfermedadesTropicales (CIET) in the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero (UAGro), Acapulco. Mexico. He is a medical graduate, with a Masters in applied epidemiology from UAGro. He has 25 years of international experience in population and health research with a focus on evidence-based planning. Since 2006 he has been the in-country project lead for CIET in Bauchi state, Nigeria. From 2009-2014, he coordinated the implementation of CIET’s work in theNigerian Evidence Based Health System Initiative(NEHSI), a multi-stakeholder information system to promote evidence-based planning at state and local government levels. From 2015-2020 he supported CIET’s work with FOMWAN (Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria) and the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency to conduct a randomised control trial on the impact of universal home visits on maternal and child health, and to develop culturally safe communication materials about kunika (short birth interval). Both projects were supported by the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa (IMCHA) initiative. Both included co-design of short evidence-based docudramas, loaded onto handsets and shown and discussed with pregnant women and their spouses during home visits. The video clips on kunika are available with English subtitles. For more information about these projects please visit the CIET websiteor the PRAM website.

Dr Omer currently coordinates a project on adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in Bauchi. The project supports adolescents (10-19 years) and other relevant stakeholders to systematise their knowledge on ASRH and to plan community led actions. During the project, the research team will work with adolescents to help them produce cellphilms to communicate collected evidence and their own experiences

Maureen Owino

Since 2007 Maureen has been an active organizer and advocate for immigrants, refugees, women, and youth with HIV/AIDS in Toronto. She has been an active volunteer in many organizations and is currently a member of the Ontario Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS (OACHA) and a Community Advisory Committee member for the CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network (CTN).

Maureen was the director of the Committee for Accessible AIDS at the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (CAAT) where she previously served as program coordinator. She has committed herself to the role of community mobilizer and advocate, working closely with community and government partners to advocate for the recognition of newcomer and racialized people living with HIV-AIDS as priority populations in provincial and federal AIDS strategies.

From 2017 to 2019, Owino pursued her Master’s in Environmental Studies at York and during these years she also received the 2017 Ontario AIDS Network’s Caring Hands Award for “inspiring hope and dignity with compassion and respect” for people living with HIV/AIDS, and the 2019 Women’s Health in Women’s Hands Community Health Centre Women of Resilience Award for resilient leaders and the 2022 CAHR Red Ribbon Award for outstanding service to the cause of research in a way that has increased our understanding of the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, while enhancing the quality of life of those living with this disease.

Currently pursuing PhD in Environmental Studies at York and engaged as a research project coordinator of CIHR’s Centre for Reach in HIV/AIDS & Women’s Health in Women’s Hands’ I’m Ready Campaign, Owino is further doing her dissertation research titled “When HIV and COVID-19 Pandemics Collide in Black Communities in Canada,” confronting issues relating to pandemic responses that impact already vulnerable communities. For this research, Owino received the CIHR Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship for the next three years.

Maureen’s first experience with cellphilms was while undertaking her master’s degree at York University Faculty of Environmental studies between 2017-2019. She was very enthralled by the use of Cellphilms in doing research and social justice work and, together with her Ph.D. supervisor, decided to use Cellphilms in a Viral Interventions project. The Cellphilms project Triple Pandemics Project brought together Black Women living with and affected by HIV in Toronto to explore the impact of The Triple Pandemics of HIV, COVID and Racial Injustice on black communities. Through this project, Black women living with and affected by HIV could document and amplify their stories/lived experiences using cellphilms.

Rukmini Panda

Rukmini Panda currently works with Breakthrough India as State Head for Odisha, an eastern Indian state. Breakthrough works towards making all forms of VAWG (violence against women and girls) unacceptable. Rukmini was working with Oxfam India as the Project Lead for Exploring the Gender Transformative Power of Feminist Research to address Knowledge gaps in Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Gender-Based Violence. She has a long history as a women’s rights activist in India with 23 years of experience. She has prolific experience on research, development program planning and implementation on the themes of VAWG, SRHR, livelihood and migration.

As lead for the research project on SRHR in which Cell Philms was used as a method, Rukmini received training from Mc Gill University on PVM methods. Subsequently, Rukmini offered handholding support to 20 Youth Researchers to co-create Cell Philms and Photo Stories on SRHR as well as different awareness videos during COVID. Rukmini writes issue based articles on women’s rights which are published in various monthly magazines. She has received Laadli media award in the year 2016 for her writing on women’s issues. The Award is conferred by Population First and UNFPA for promoting gender sensitive creative writing in media.

Rukmini has also been felicitated by a magazine called “Sindhuja” which is a monthly feature magazine on women’s issues. Two of her translated books have been published by National Book Trust India, which is a premiere publishing trust by government of India. Rukmini holds a degree in M.Phil in Economics and continuing her PhD in Women’s Studies on the topic of social protection for women migrant workers.

Rocio Macabena Perez

Rocio Macabena Perez is a PhD candidate in psychoeducation at the University of Montréal, an artistic educator, and a clinical worker. She is interested in the development of innovative and artistic programs from the perspective of positive youth development. Rocio discovered cellphilming at the start of the pandemic when she was asked to facilitate several workshops with youth. Although her expertise focuses more on street art and classical artistic mediums like painting and drawing, cellphilming is definitely a medium she has learned to love.

Aron Lee Rosenberg

Aron Lee Rosenberg is a teacher, grad student, and writer. He is interested in tech and activism, with a particular focus on issues related to LGBTQ2SIA+ communities, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, anti-racist organizing, and decolonial movements. He recently finished the data collection for his PhD dissertation, working with Grade 8 students over the course of several months to help them develop their critical digital literacy practices further. Aron facilitated students through inquiry projects that used digital tools to explore how these very technologies relate to issues of social/environmental justice, surveillance capitalism, and students’ health and wellness. Culminating in the creation and showcasing of cellphilms, Aron’s research considered how digital, arts-based approaches can be meaningful for participatory research and for student-centred pedagogies. As an educator and researcher, he sometimes struggles to differentiate research and education – tracing ways in which they overlap. Once Aron finishes his PhD, he plans to return to the high school classroom. In the meantime, he is busy finishing up his dissertation…and procrastinating.

To learn more about Aron, you can visit him on Mastodon or on Twitter @OsherL. He also has a website that features artifacts from a project he did in 2020, where he spent the entire year offline. Learn more:

Shannon Roy

Shannon Roy has over 12 years of experience as a professional educator, having taught a range of students from elementary to adult. As a photographer, creative writer, and painter, she has a keen interest and dedication to the arts and is passionate in her advocacy for strong arts programs in schools. Shannon is in the first year of her Ph.D. in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University and is interested in how art-based research can be used as a catalyst to access educators stories.

Hani Sadati

Hani Sadati is a Postdoctoral Researcher at McGill University’s Faculty of Education, where he received his Ph.D. degree as well. The project he is currently involved in looks at the Canadian youth experience during the pandemic. His doctoral project focused on the participatory development of a serious game to address sexual and gender-based violence in Ethiopian Agriculture colleges. He used participatory arts-based game design process in his phd research. This project led to the development of the Mela serious game, which was awarded the Bronze medal (in the students’ category) at the 2021 Serious Play Conference. Hani’s background is in Social Science (BA) and Women Studies (MA)

Max Schleser

Max Schleser is Associate Professor in Film and Television and Researcher in the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies (CTMT) at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia), Adobe Education Leader, Founder of the Mobile Innovation Network & Association ( and Screening Director of the International Mobile Innovation Screening & Festival. Max is an award-winning filmmaker with expertise in Immersive Media and Creative Arts 4.0 with a focus on Cinematic VR and interactive filmmaking. His research explores Screen Production, Emerging Media and Smartphone Filmmaking for community engagement, creative transformation and transmedia storytelling. His experimental films, moving-image arts and cinematic VR projects are screened at film festivals, in galleries and museums including FLEFF Film Festival (USA), Festival de La Imagen (Columbia), Museu da Imagem e do Som – Museum of Moving Image (Brazil), London Gallery West, South London Gallery (both UK), Ng_ Taonga Sound & Vision – New Zealand Film Archive, Te Papa Tongarewa – Museum of New Zealand (both Aotearoa/New Zealand), Pocket Film Festival and Videoscope (both France). His mobile feature film Max with a Keitai (2007) is included in the public film archive in the Forum des Images in Paris (France) and the smartphone documentary feature Frankenstorm (2014) broadcasted on CTV, Canterbury Television (Aotearoa/New Zealand).
Max co-edited the books Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones and Mobile Story Making in an Age of Smartphones, published with Palgrave MacMillan, and edited journals for Ubiquity, the Journal of Pervasive Media and the Journal of Creative Technologies. His monograph Smartphone Filmmaking: Theory and Practice is published with Bloomsbury in 2021. He conceptualised and conducted digital storytelling workshops for a number of cultural institutes, city councils and government bodies in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. His industry consultancy includes projects for Adobe, Australian Red Cross, BBC, Nokia, Frontier Strategy, Open Lab and Telstra, among other agencies and production companies. Smartphone Filmmaking for community engagement, creative transformation and transmedia storytelling. The cellphilm method will be explored as a framework for interdisciplinary research and to give communities a voice.

Twitter: @MaxMobile

Josh Schwab Cartas

Dr. Schwab Cartas is a bi racial Indigenous Zapotec scholar (Zapotec/Austrian) born in Canada. He has recently completed a PhD in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University. His doctoral project focuses on the use of participatory visual methodologies, specifically cellphilm (participatory videos made with cell phones) as a means to revitalizing and documenting his ancestral language of Zapotec. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at UBC in the department of Language and Literacy Education Department, where he is using a participatory development approach to creating a Zapotec language learning app aimed at young children. Schwab Cartas is one of three editors, alongside Casey Burkholder, Funk Aladejebi, of recently published an edited collection with Routledge press entitled Leading and Listening to Community: Facilitating Qualitative, Arts-Based & Visual Research for Social Change.

Ashak Sherrif

Ashak Sheriff is a senior-level international development professional, working on economic, social and cultural development programmes for the past 15 years. He uses his diplomacy, strategy and operations management experience to the benefit of international development initiatives, working with partners in North America, Europe and Africa. His work has been shaped by his Canadian, African, and Indian heritage, and his decade-long work based in West Africa. Ashak embraces the importance of results-based management systems, pragmatic project design and implementation, evidence-based decision-making, and the importance of building strong and human-centric relationships.  Ashak started his career as a junior business analyst with the Royal Bank of Canada, then as a Learning & Development Specialist at Google UK, before re-focusing his career towards international development.

Deborah Simpson

Deborah Simpson is CODE’s Evaluative Learning Manager. She has 30 years’ experience in the international development sector, including both as an academic and a practitioner. She has extensive research experience focused on South African Civil Society and Church responses to HIV&AIDS in South Africa. She also has a background in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, with CODE, Oxfam Canada, and with the Evaluation Unit of the International Development Research Centre.

Lisa Starr

Lisa Starr’s passion for the study of education follows two streams: (1) Teaching and leading in K-Graduation schools, and (2) Addressing gender-based violence in educational contexts in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and South Africa. In a K-graduation context, her research and teaching focuses on relational leadership/pedagogy as well as innovative approaches to K-Graduation education in Canada. As an innovative research methodology, she commonly uses autoethnography as a means to study and disseminate research about educators’ experience with change. Shs is dedicated to improving education by facilitating and/or generating deep understanding around the complex issues present in today’s schools. The second stream of her research focuses on the use of participatory visual methodologies, like cellphilming, photovoice and drawing, as tools to address gender-based violence. She studies the complex barriers that impede educational change and how those barriers impact women’s leadership.

Sarah Switzer

Sarah Switzer is an adult educator, interdisciplinary scholar, and community-based participatory researcher with fifteen years of experience supporting community-based approaches to social change. She believes in working collaboratively, imaginatively, and equitably for social justice and is committed to research done in partnership with communities and community-based organizations. Her larger program of research focuses on how to meaningfully engage communities who experience marginalization in program or policy change. Within this, she has a specialized interest (and passion!) for participatory visual methods, including cellphilms, for engaging audiences, participants, and students in dialogue and exchange. During the pandemic, Sarah led participatory research on how community-engaged practitioners (participatory researchers, community artists and community facilitators) are adapting their participatory work with communities to online and remote settings during COVID-19, and the unique ethical and pedagogical issues that emerge (see: Her lived experiences as a white, cis, queer settler, with an invisible disability has motivated her desire to co-design and co-imagine participatory spaces with accessibility, anti-racism and social justice at the centre.

Sarah has published in the fields of:  participatory visual methodologies; community-based participatory research; creative knowledge translation and co-design; harm reduction and HIV/AIDS; participatory research ethics; and the critical study of participation and engagement.

She is currently a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Community-Based Research

Catherine Vanner

Catherine Vanner is an Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations at the University of Windsor. Her research uses qualitative and participatory methods to study the relationship between gender, violence, and education. She holds a M.A. in International Affairs from Carleton University and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Ottawa and previously worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at McGill University and an Education Advisor at Plan International Canada and the Canadian International Development Agency (now Global Affairs Canada). Her recent research, Time to Teach about Gender-Based Violence in Canada, used cellphilms to enable secondary school students to craft messages responding to the question: “What do you want your teachers to know when teaching about gender-based violence?” The students’ cellphilms were then watched by 11 teachers, who responded to the cellphilms as part of a participatory analysis workshop. The teachers recommended a network, resources, and support for teaching about gender-based violence, resulting in the website and @GBVTeaching Twitter page and a forthcoming professional development workshop. Catherine is on Twitter @catherinevanner.

Jennifer Thompson

Jen Thompson is an interdisciplinary visual researcher interested how social justice intersects with environmental issues. She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Public Health Research (CReSP) at l’Université de Montréal, supporting the MYRIAGONE McConnell-UdeM research chair in youth knowledge mobilization. Jen is also teaching faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Dawson College. Jen has worked with or supported the use of cellphilming through several collaborations, including in Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, the UK, as well as in her home province of Quebec in Canada. Jen also uses cellphilming for inquiry-based learning in the classroom. Jen has developed a number of tools to support cellphilming, including a short documentary video, Cellphilm! Teachers as agents of change and accompanying facilitator’s guide, Cellphilming: A took for addressing gender equality, as part of the BETTER teacher education project in Mozambique with the NGOs CODE and Associaçao Progresso. She also co-produced a series of instructional cellphilms, How to make a cellphilm/Comment faire un cellphilm as part of a MYRIAGONE project about youth wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic. These cellphilm tools are available on the International Cellphilm Festival website:

Angelina Weenie

Angelina Weenie is Plains Cree. Her home is nakîwacîhk, Sweetgrass First Nation, Treaty 6 territory in Saskatchewan. She is a fluent Cree (y) dialect speaker. She is a teacher, a researcher, and a writer in Indigenous pedagogy. Her teaching areas include language reclamation and culturally relevant pedagogy. She has a Master of Education from the University of Saskatchewan. Her study was on resiliency in First Nations post-secondary education. She received her Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Regina. The focus of her work was on her development as an Indigenous academic. She looked at her journey as an educator and she related the cultural competencies which inform her work in the academy.
Angelina was introduced to the idea of cellphilming during a conference at McGill University. She has found that cellphilming is a unique way to engage learners. Cellphilms can be used as a reflective tool. She has asked her students to create cellphilms at the end of a course to relate their insights in an enjoyable and creative way. Her students have developed cellphilms to relate their understandings of research methods with Indigenous people and for treaty education.

Lisa Wiebesiek

Lisa Wiebesiek is the research manager of the Centre for Visual Methodologies for Social Change at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. From 2016 to 2021, she was the project coordinator of the South African arm of the Networks for Change and Well-being: Girl-led ‘from the ground up’ policy making to address sexual violence in Canada and South Africa project (Networks for Change). Cellphilms were one of the participatory visual methods used in the project. Lisa also used cellphilm data generated in the Networks for Change for her doctoral study completed in 2021. Lisa’s current research interests include participatory visual methodology, rurality, gender and sexuality, and feminist post-colonial studies. 

Ntomboxolo Yamile

Dr. Ntomboxolo Yamile is currently the Technical Vocation Education and Training Coordinator in the Faculty of Education, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Her research interests focus on participatory visual methodology, gender and education, with emphasis on rural girls and women. Her interest in using visuals developed when doing her doctorate, working with school girls from a rural town in the Eastern Cape, focusing on addressing sexual violence in their rural community. Her work is published in an article, Schoolgirls leading their rural community in dialogue to address gender-based violence. In this article she explores the schoolgirls’ use of a digital dialogue tool  consisting of visual artefacts such as policy posters, action briefs and cellphilms which the schoolgirls had made, to facilitate a community dialogue.