Haus Piksas: Using informal media distribution for HIV and AIDS communication in Papua New Guinea

TitleHaus Piksas: Using informal media distribution for HIV and AIDS communication in Papua New Guinea
Publication TypeConference Paper
Author(s)Thomas, V., and M. Eby
Affiliation (1st Author)Centre for Social and Creative Media, University of Goroka, Papua New Guinea
Section or WGCommunication and HIV/AIDS Working Group
DateWed 26 June
Slot CodeCHAW4a
Slot Code (Keyword)CHAW4a
Time of Session16:00-17:30
Session TitleCommunicating HIV/AIDS: Issues and Concerns
Submission ID7281

The media landscapes in developing countries are changing rapidly due to the availability of technology and the impact of mobile communication and social media. In countries that lack formal structure for media distribution, informal systems develop to share and distribute media content. In Papua New Guinea, for example, many rural villages have haus piksas, local village cinemas. The haus piksas have become common gathering places to view videos within the community. Further, they have become spaces for community engagement and at times replaced central gathering places in communities. This informal media distribution system offers immense, yet currently unrecognized potential, for visual education and communication in Papua New Guinea. This paper presents the first study of haus piksas in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. By mapping the haus piksas in the highlands and surveying haus piksa owners and audience members the study initially sought to understand how media content is distributed through the haus piksa system. The project then used this distribution system to monitor and evaluate the screening of Komuniti Tok Piksa, locally produced films on HIV and AIDS. Apart from the videos and their distribution in haus piksas, the project also engaged in mobile and social media linked to the content of the Komuniti Tok Piksa films. This paper examines the use of mixed media (videos, mobile communication and social media) for HIV and AIDS communication in a logistically challenging environment. It argues for communication strategies to adapt to local communication structures and audiences. This, the authors suggest, requires an initial mapping of audiences in order to understand both the formal and informal ways of communication. The haus piksa project presents a case study for new ways of engaging in HIV and AIDS communication in Papua New Guinea and applies locally developed communication strategies to HIV and AIDS education and prevention.

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