TORONTO – In partnership with The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), arts-based youth performance group, SExT: Sex Education by Theatre, is set to release brand new music video Bodak Consent on October 2nd, 2018 shining a light on consensual behavior, safer sex practices, and HIV prevention
WATCH BODAK CONSENT NOW:
On October 2nd, 2018, The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) in partnership with arts-based youth performance group, SExT: Sex Education by Theatre, will be releasing Bodak Consent, a brand-new music video highlighting the topic of consent, safer sex practices and HIV/STI prevention.
Bodak Consent is a rap parody based on Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow song, with the lyrics re-written by one of the cast members, Lauren Chang, teaching youth about consent. The piece is an arts-based public health and sexual health educational resource made by youth for youth.
“My doctoral research shows that educational approaches that are culturally relevant, engage youth on both an intellectual and emotional level, and that are, quite simply, fun are most effective in leading to real behaviour change,” said SExT Creator and Director, Shira Taylor.
“In creating the choreography for Bodak Consent, SExT peer educators had the chance to embody precarious situations that youth encounter in 2018 and practice navigating them in a safe space. By performing these scenarios for their peers, they are modeling how to deal with difficult and very common situations in the era of cyberbullying and #MeToo. The youth voice is notoriously absent from the age-old sex ed debate. We hope that this video reminds young people that they have important stories to tell and deserve a seat at the table.”
“I am humbled by the impact that our National Youth Awareness Programs have had in the last two years,” said CANFAR Chief Executive Officer, Alex Filiatrault. “We need more than ever to continue investing in youth and growing our outreach to as many young Canadians as possible. Through this program, we have really seen the effectiveness of peer-to-peer education and centering the voices of youth in the sexual health curriculum.”
As leaders and advocates of youth educating youth since 2014, and in light of the recent Ontario sex-ed curriculum repeal, SExT alongside CANFAR is encouraging everyone to follow along and participate in the conversation online using #BodakConsent.
CANFAR recently announced their partnership with SExT in the spring of 2018 to reach youth in some of Canada’s most remote communities that are greatly affected by the HIV epidemic. For the partnership’s initial campaign, SExT performed for 39 schools and Indigenous reserves across Northern Ontario, Northern Saskatchewan, and the Greater Toronto Area engaging over 4,000 youth.
Through this partnership, CANFAR strives to empower Canadian youth to recognize and avoid unhealthy situations, explore their identity on their own terms, and be able to confidently set boundaries. CANFAR envisions that this partnership with SExT will eventually expand into other provinces and communities, increasing young people’s knowledge around sexual health and decision making, and ultimately, reducing the rate of new HIV infections.
SExT was created by Shira Taylor, an Ottawa-born, Toronto-based actor and art for health and social change advocate, as part of her PhD dissertation at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. SExT was born out of Toronto’s Thorncliffe/Flemingdon Park, a community where sexuality is a cultural taboo and sexual health education, a contentious issue.
SExT is grounded in a culturally inclusive, youth-led and arts-based approach, which uses theatre to empower young people to examine, challenge and communicate topics that youth have identified as relevant to their lives. SExT provides a safe space for youth to develop as artists and advocates in their own communities, speaking on issues including consent, racism, homophobia, HIV, STIs, pregnancy, cyberbullying, domestic violence, and mental health through a compilation of sketches, songs, poems, raps, and dances.
About the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR)
Over its 30-year history, CANFAR has invested more than $21 million and awarded more than 400 grants across Canada in research addressing all aspects of HIV and AIDS. Over a quarter of new HIV infections in Canada occur in youth between ages 15 and 29. CANFAR is committed to ending HIV in Canada by reaching the most at-risk youth through its National Awareness Programs, which focus on educating young people across the country about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
Available for Interviews
Shira Taylor – Creator/Director SExT
Lauren Chang – SExT Cast Member
Roxanne Ma – CANFAR Manager of National Awareness Programs
David Kelly – CANFAR Manager Marketing and Public Relations