Tea Time: Mapping Informal Networks of Women Living with HIV began as Jessica Whitbread’s master’s thesis. She was interested in finding a way to build the fragmented and disconnected network of women living with HIV in Canada through a community-based research project that brought women living with HIV together using the Tea Time method. The project was designed to highlight the health needs of women living with HIV in a North American context, as well as to explore the application of the Tea Time method as a community-building tool. After the original research phase was complete, Tea Time has shifted to be a community arts project and has expanded globally.
Through this work Jessica has hosted tea parties with over 64 women living with HIV. Each woman’s (including Jessica) participation was documented through a personal letter and teacup that has been photographed. The Tea Time book is a collection of the photos as well as an introduction to the Tea Time method and Jessica’s personal and academic insight into the project.
Tea Time CKUT Interview:
“Tea Time became a personal journey to discover my own understanding of HIV in relation to gender. Each woman’s story is rooted in her own individual experience. This is mine. Similar to the many conversations that were had during Tea Time, these pages offer glimpses of the complicated thought process of living with HIV. You will read about some of these thoughts in the letters that were shared by the women who attended.”
The book is a 194-page, hard cover coffee table book that has a very limited printing of 100 copies. There will be a smaller number of copies that have very limited edition cover sleeves by Jessica MacCormack, Johnny Nawrajac and Anthea Black. Each book has gold foil stamping and will be numbered. All the donations will go towards continuing the project and continuing to build the community.
Book design by Pulp & Pixel Creative