Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d’Ivoire
In 2005, we were asked by a medical anthropologist, Esmee de Jong, working for The United Nations, if we could create a magic show to teach refugee children about HIV/AIDS. Esmee was particularly interested in focusing on the problem of the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. We work for a number of months and came up with a show that we performed for 150,000 refugees in Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire refugee camps.
We were part of a campaign called The Positive Life Celebration. Positive had the double meaning of being diagnosed HIV-Positive and yet in spite of the diagnosis living positive, productive, inspiring lives. In the hall where we performed, there were large poster size portraits of HIV Positive people from around the world along with their stories. There were also HIV Positive guest speakers who spoke before and after our performance.
The Positive Life Campaign was an exciting experience for us and it clearly showed the ways in which magic can be used to entertain, educate and empower audiences.