At Imperial, we firmly believe in the power of public engagement and collaboration to tackle urgent global challenges. The Centre for Antimicrobial Optimisation (CAMO) and Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) in HCAI and AMR, were invited by the public participation team to collaborate on an art-based project.
By Emma Carter (HPRU) and Ashleigh Green (CAMO)
This initiative, known as the Young Producers project, brought together a group of HPRU/CAMO researchers, artists and the public participation team who worked in collaboration with young individuals aged 18 to 23 years, to develop an engaging workshop and art exhibition focused on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Over the course of the past six months, this extraordinary project has facilitated learning, creativity, and awareness not only among the young producers but also within the broader community.
Nurturing Knowledge and Creativity:
The Young Producers project provided a unique opportunity for our researchers to work closely with nine young individuals who possessed varying levels of knowledge about AMR. Together, they embarked on a transformative journey, exchanging ideas and insights. The aim was to develop a workshop and art exhibition that would captivate the audience during the Great Exhibition Road Festival, particularly within the dedicated Young People Zone.
Exploring the World of AMR:
Throughout the project, our team took the time to introduce the concept of antimicrobial resistance to the young producers. Through interactive sessions and discussions, they explored the implications of AMR and the importance of tackling this global health issue. This foundational understanding served as a springboard for the young producers’ creativity and innovation.
Creating Engaging Games:
One of the outcomes of the Young Producers project was the development of an engaging game based on the principles of AMR. The young producers harnessed their newfound knowledge to conceptualize and design a trial game, which was showcased at the Imperial Lates event. Building upon this success, they further adapted the game into a captivating Lego-based version.
In the Lego game, participants had to select a microbe and navigate through various antibiotics to cure themselves, all while aiming to avoid the emergence of resistance. As players progressed, the Lego bricks symbolizing antibiotic usage were added to an evolving art display. This artistic representation vividly showcased the growing resistance as more and more antibiotics were utilized.
The Young Producers’ workshop and art exhibition at the Great Exhibition Road Festival were a resounding success. Not only did the young producers gain valuable skills and insights throughout the project, but they also had the opportunity to share their knowledge and creations with the wider public. By immersing the festival attendees in the world of AMR through interactive games and visually striking art, the project sparked important conversations and raised awareness about this critical issue.
Working with the Young Producers was an enjoyable experience for our team. It was incredibly encouraging to witness the young participants gaining confidence in effectively communicating the underlying concepts of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and its growing significance as a complex global health issue impacting healthcare systems. This opportunity allowed us to share our day-to-day research efforts in tackling AMR from various angles. By utilizing events like the Lates and the Festival, we were able to raise public awareness about AMR and its consequences. The Young Producers project specifically provided us with a fantastic opportunity to showcase our research to a young audience, informing our future work. Through this collaboration, we not only gained confidence in public engagement but also expanded our knowledge, developed innovative activities, and enhanced our research and communication skills. Active public engagement elevated our visibility, fostered networking opportunities, and contributed to the broader fight against AMR. Overall, this project offered invaluable experiences and insights, promoting personal and professional growth in the field of infectious diseases and AMR research.
The Young Producers project exemplifies the power of collaboration, creativity, and public engagement in addressing global challenges. By empowering young individuals to actively contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance, we not only foster a new generation of informed and passionate advocates but also create a platform for dialogue and change. The researchers were proud to contribute and of the young producers for their dedication and innovative spirit, and we look forward to more inspiring projects that bridge the gap between academia and society. Together, we can make a difference in combatting antimicrobial resistance and ensuring a healthier future for all.