Monday, June 28, 2010

Project BodyTalk goes live!

After nearly a year of development and work, I'm pleased to announce that thanks to my fabulous graduate assistant, Megan Swann, we've got a website up and running for Project BodyTalk. I've been writing about eating disorders for a while now, and at some point I began thinking that it would be really fabulous to be able to hear the actual voices of people who struggle with EDs. I'm also a radio devotee and big fan of shows like This American Life and the StoryCorps project.

From these sources, Project BodyTalk was born. It's an audio project that collects commentaries on the subjects of food, eating, body image, and eating disorders. Here on the Syracuse University campus, we opened a recording booth for a couple weeks last fall and collected a number of commentaries from students, faculty, and community members who came up to campus to record. Since then I've had people send me mp4 and mp3 files. A couple of teachers at a high school in Baldwinsville had students record commentaries.

The first commentators were told to record a commentary anywhere from 1 to 10 minutes, on any related subject. Some people told stories about friends and family members struggling with body-related issues. Some talked about foods they love. Some talked about what it's like to be fat, or thin, to have anorexia or binge eating disorder, to feel pressured to look a certain way. It's turning into a wonderfully eclectic, diverse, and moving project.

So . . . the website is up and running with the first half dozen commentaries. Over the next few months I'll be editing and uploading more commentaries, and, I hope, collecting them too.

We've also got a page labeled ACT, where I'm posting links and descriptions of other body-positive projects. If you've got one to share, send me info, and I'll happily add yours to the page.

I'd love your feedback--and your commentaries.

*Image by Megan Swann.