C2D2 engagement 2b - Chronic health issues of adolescents: is the world listening?

Project: Other projectOther internal award

Project Details



Layman's description

The incidence and prevalence of chronic disease is rising throughout the world. Adolescence is a time for growth, development, increasing
independence and a time for forming new relationships. Thus life both at home and at school is affected by chronic ill-health. There are also huge variations in prevalence of chronic disease between countries and these differential risks are rarely explored. Data summarising the chronic health of adolescents worldwide is most often presented in large data sets, reports or academic journals and it is rarely disseminated in any other way remaining largely hidden from the public view. In this innovative, multidisciplinary and exciting project, we will convert the data on the global chronic health of adolescents to sounds and to music and visually represent both the challenges facing young people and their strength and resilience to overcome them. In proposing such ‘sonification’, i.e. Turning numbers into sound and piloting and showcasing it at the 360 installation space at York, we aim to create an experiential learning opportunity that will raise the issues of chronic health faced by young people worldwide. We will use it as a platform to engage with young people to develop the project further and secure funding.

Key findings

What has been the impact of the project so far? What audiences has the project reached and what feedback has been received? What plans are there for future engagement and development of the project?

The film “Jane’s story” designed by the team for the 3Sixty space at the Ron Cooke Hub was finalised in September 2013 premiered at the c2d2 conference, ran for a further 2 weeks daily and then culminated in a workshop with young people from York college. We had 121 visitors to see the film and had very positive feedback. Comments included:
“Moving and brilliant!”
“Get this put on permanent display in 3Sixty”
“Inspired, gave a whole new perspective to what so many people endure. Just great work!”
“Loved it!”
“Very powerful and insightful. Showing an inside perspective. Thank you!”
People were both incredibly moved and surprised at the impact the film had on them. A workshop took place a few weeks after the conference. The young people took part in a number of activities exploring the issues of chronic health. They highlighted that the need to talk more about the issues that arise for young people and challenge the taboos surrounding chronic illness as a young person. They felt that there was a need to get more information out through the media and many of them were willing to talk about their own experiences through radio interviews. They suggested that a film should be made that on the topic and potentially some street theatre productions or showing the film at festivals to raise the profile.
The next steps are as follows:
The film was such success that the team plan to re-format and edit it to enable it to be put on ‘youtube’ so that it is freely accessible to a wider audience. There will, however, be a coordinated launch strategy which will tie into this year’s ‘Festival of Ideas’ in June 2014, the subject of which is order and chaos. Our youth panel will be part of this launch and we plan to include media broadcasts and collaboration with health organisations during this time.
The longer term strategy is to apply for funding to produce a professional high quality, high impact short film to raise the issues and which will have both national and international impact

Any substantial new collaborations that have been set-up or existing ones consolidated as a result of funding.
The funding enabled a wide and normally disparate new group of people to work together including researchers from Health sciences, Film and TV, English, Sociology and Music, a community arts practitioner, a professional musician and a filmmaker. Initially even the language that we used was different but we soon began to develop an understanding that we can hopefully build on for future projects. More than anything the project felt both impactful and fun.

How many postdocs were employed on the project and for how long. Please also indicate if any of them subsequently moved onto new contracts of a year or more with the PI or any of the co-PIs.

The project has led to a new post-doctoral fellowship which will look at the role of sonification and film music in communicating risk.

An application was submitted and was successful to the Wellcome Trust for a post-doctoral research fellow. Co-PIs are Dr Sandra Pauletto and Dr Amanda Mason-Jones.

Any articles that have been submitted or have been accepted for publication but not yet published - please include authors, title of article and title of journal and also date due to be published if known
2 articles are currently being prepared, one which outlines the technical aspects of sonification and the other focusing on public health and engagement.

Effective start/end date21/05/1331/03/14


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Risk
  • Adolescent health
  • R Medicine (General)
  • Public Health
  • Access to services