David Borish
Author: Eldred Allen
2023

David Borish

Researcher/Visual Artist

Where research meets the reel world

meet david

David Borish is a social and health researcher and visual artist pushing the boundaries of audio-visual methodologies to explore and share relationships between humans and the environment. Borish developed an innovative data analytical strategy that repurposes video-editing software for qualitative inquiry, which allows him to explore video interviews in-depth. Through this method he has published multiple articles in high-impact journals. As a whole, his work supports the emotional, audio-visual, and qualitative communication of community experiences with biodiversity loss, while also celebrating actions of strength, hope, and resilience.

Where research meets the reel world
Nominated by: Travis Steffans FI'14 Sunniva Sorby MI'19
Class of 2023 Location Ontario, Canada
Author: Eldred Allen

Place-based knowledge systems, such as Indigenous knowledge, are vital for understanding and addressing environmental issues, but there are major challenges with leveraging these sources in accurate and culturally appropriate ways. Oral and visual knowledge are often miscommunicated or misunderstood because they are not accessible to decision-makers outside of these communities. My work directly addresses this challenge by communicating community knowledge through a methodological process I call video-based qualitative analysis: blending creative storytelling techniques with traditional research methods.

“My work directly addresses this challenge by communicating community knowledge through a methodological process I call video-based qualitative analysis: blending creative storytelling techniques with traditional research methods.”

- David Borish

During my PhD, I led a community-based film and research project called “Herd: Inuit Voices on Caribou.” The goal was to create impact-driven documentary films and qualitative research papers about Inuit knowledge of, and experiences with, caribou population declines in Labrador, Canada. Rather than working on research first then the documentary film, I piloted new ways of repurposing video-editing software for qualitative inquiry that allowed me to work on both storytelling and analytical processes simultaneously. In this way, the video interviews I conducted could be used for video production and as data to be analyzed to gain more in-depth understanding of what participants shared relating to caribou.

The use of video-based qualitative analysis led to the coproduction of both award-winning documentary films and peer-reviewed articles about a range of social, environmental, and health topics, all based on the same video interviews. To support other explorers, researchers, and communities who wish to blend storytelling and research for environmental change, I have developed a variety of resources, including a summary, step-by-step guide, journal article, and short video explaining my creative process.

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