In this moving story, “Hatsume” (not her real name) talks about her shame and fear of being judged by her friends for being HIV-positive. “Hatsume” is a young, Japanese American woman. This story and more are part of “Taking Root: Our Stories, Our Community,” a national digital storytelling initiative to engage Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in ending HIV stigma. Watch more stories at www.banyantreeproject.org. Start the conversation #withoutshame.
About Taking Root: It’s been said that it takes a thousand voices to tell a single story. “Taking Root” is grounded in the power of the individual story, but its territory extends beyond the individual. We are a multitude of voices: there is no singular Asian American or Pacific Islander experience, and the face of HIV is as diverse as the people affected by it. Through the connections forged by these individual experiences, we are able to tell a story about the ways we are affected by HIV. Together, these stories heal and it is through the telling and witnessing of them that we learn to overcome our silence and shame. As “Taking Root” grows, it will eventually include stories from AA and NHPI communities across the US and the six US-affiliated Pacific Island Jurisdictions.
Digital storytelling is a form of short narrative told in the first person and enhanced by sound, video, and symbolic imagery. These are true stories from AAs and NHPIs recounting the ways in which HIV has affected and altered their lives. The stories were developed during an intensive 3-day workshop facilitated by Center for Digital Storytelling where participants were trained to produce their own story, from developing their own narrative and producing a voiceover, to using audiovisual and editing equipment to create the final video. “Taking Root” stories will be promoted at community events nationwide and online through our social networks and partners.