PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Sense of birth
A itinerant interactive exhibition for social engagement and public health changing.

Bernardo Jefferson Oliveira  

Brazil has the worst global rate of C-section, far beyond the WHO recommendation, recognized as a serious public health problem. This is a consequence of a complex set of factors such as financial and medical interests, gender bias and the disseminated mixing culture of consumerism, convenience, loss of autonomy and lack of information. To discuss this problem and try to contribute to change this scenario we developed an interactive and itinerant exhibition called Senses of Birth, Structured in four containers, it involves the visitors in a recreational and emotive manner. Initially the visitor sees himself pregnant, goes through a caricatural store that explores birth as a business, watches a childbirth controversial dialogue held by different characters, and finally goes through a emotive sensorial experience of a birth. The use of containers allows mobility and assembly in public places (squares, parks and shopping centers) providing easy access. Besides that and its gratuity, the exhibition uses different media and languages, making it fun and interesting to audiences with different cultural habits. Using multi-methodological strategies, the research about the public perceptions shows a high proportion of people who went for the first time to an exhibition, and, returned bringing friends and relatives. It also reveals how the exhibit provides significant and provocative experiences of science communication to change the current situation. Another surprising result is its social mobilization effect. Either by the burning thematic and approach or by the meeting agenda with professionals from the pubic primary health care clinics, participation of various NGOs, doulas and midwives associations, feminists movements and forums of discussions of students and health professionals the exhibition created and catalyzed meetings and social mobilization, strengthening existing movements, favoring the articulation of local groups, public policy, raising awareness of rival projects of different social representations in a public sphere.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.