Type 1 Diabetes: Stakeholders & Visual Representation

Post 3 by Lucy Allen

When understanding and discovering any complex system the system can only be appreciated when attempting to map the stakeholders involved. It is only then that you can see the intricate web of players, their values and relationships and how they make up a larger system and influence each other. Stakeholder mapping alongside a collection of visual research has allowed me to appreciate these systems, their intricacies and portrayals through a visual format apposed to the written texts I have previously discovered.

Stakeholder Mapping

When asked to produce a stakeholder map in class on the topic of Obesity and Healthy Living it was quite daunting task. The system and stakeholders form such a complex web and we worried that we wouldn’t be able to cover every actor and relationship within the time and space constraints.In the end we were very happy with the map we produced, whilst not clear it is well thought out and conveys a basic overview of the stakeholder involved in the issue.

In-class Stakeholder Relationship Map for ‘Obesity & Healthy Living’

We were later asked to map stakeholders based on their values and relationships. This provided much more challenging as we really had to put ourselves in the shoes of each stakeholder and discuss their position in the grand scheme of things.

In-class Stakeholder Value Map for ‘Obesity and Healthy Living’

The two stakeholder maps we created in class was based on the overarching issue of ‘Obesity and Healthy Living’. As my research has led me into the quite specific topic of Type 1 Diabetes I wanted to take these two maps on relationships and values to create a more specific map of the topic, breaking this down into human and non-human players.

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Stakeholder relationships and values for Type 1 Diabetes

Image Bank

When creating an image bank to reflect all that I have been researching and discussing I have really tried to find images that either depict some reality of living with Diabetes or allow me to challenge societal assumptions. Many of the images I’ve found cleverly reflect the treatment of Diabetes through the use of needles and other harsh means. It’s very easy to hide the treatment of Diabetes so I think that imagery and artworks are a great way for people to express their frustration and the more hidden aspects of the disease.

Despite the freedom of visuals to communicate I did find it difficulat to find any images that conveyed the overall experiene of what it is like to live with Type 1 Diabetes. I put this down to the silent nature of the disease in that people living with it look perfectly healthy and normal. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 is a bit easier to stereotype as seen in image 4, where those suffering are predominantly overweight. Due to this, I struggled to find imagery that could really reflect the experience of living with Type 1 Diabetes and not just a treatment or small aspect of it.

I feel these images reflect many of the issues I’ve previously talked about around the subject of Type 1 Diabetes however do so in a more lighthearted way than my textual sources have. It is amazing what can be communicated through an image and I feel a lot is said through the particular images I’ve chosen.




Image 1: Swiss-abetic Pen & Ink by Birdwing Press


This illustration is a unique way of looking at the various forms of treatment needed by those living with Type 1 Diabetes and highlighting just how much is needed.

Image 2: Jellybeans In a Jar by J. Tyler

This image represents the many assumptions made in regards to Type 1 Diabetes and sugar. Whilst sugar has a direct impact on blood sugar levels and eating it can make managing the disease harder, sugar can also save the life of someone living with Type 1 Diabetes.


Image 3: Complication of Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 from A Fair Go

This image is an example of the long-term complications poor Diabetes control can have. Few people realise the extend of these complications, amputation being just one.


Image 4: Diabetes Sucks by Noah Health 

This image reflects the stereotype of what most people associate with ‘Diabetes’. It can be hard for many people living with Diabetes to dispose of this generalisation of the disease, many people are taken-a-back when they realise that not all people with Diabetes are overweight and eat junk food 24/7.

Image 5: Newcastle Walk to Cure Diabetes by R Osland

This photo is of the Newcastle 2015 ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’, an annual fundraiser run by JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) to raise money to fund further research into funding a cure for the disease.


Image 6: Icecream Cones by The Taable

This image from The Taable reflects the assumption that Diabetics must go without. That eating sugar was detrimental and is what cause our Diabetes. This view was something I came across countless times growing up until I learnt to stand up for myself and explain to people that I could in-fact eat that ice-cream and could in-fact eat that cake.


Image 7: Diabetes Art Day by M. Mokate

This untitled artwork by Nora Mokate depicts a woman handcuffed by the tubing of her insulin pump. This image is commenting on how whilst people living with Diabetes try their best to control the disease and live normal lives often it seemingly takes control, leaving you at the mercy of medicine and attempting control.


Image 8: Campaign Image by #NoPricks

This raw image is part of the #NOPRICKS campaign that seeks to eliminate needles for Diabetics through delivering insulin through a patch on the skin. The image depicts just one month’s worth of needles and is a reality for many people worldwide.


Image 9: Diabetic Fingertips found on Google Image Search

This image taken from a blog post by user DeviantArt depicts the worn fingertips of those living with Type 1 Diabetes due to testing blood sugar levels multiple times a day. This image is an example of how Diabetes has only a few small visible impacts but has many hidden ones.

Image 10: Diabetic Thirst by E. Loli

This image is titled ‘Diabetic Thirst’ and is a collage by Eugenia Loli. The work reflects the debilitating thirst felt by those living with Type 1 Diabetes when their blood sugar levels are high.


Reference List

A Fair Go, 2014, Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 – Complications, viewed 20th of August <2016, http://afairgo.net/diabetes-mellitus-type-one-complications/>

Birdwing Press, 2016, Etsy, viewed 19th of August 2016, <https://www.etsy.com/listing/96275838/swiss-abetic-pen-ink-diabetes?ref=cat_gallery_22&ga_search_query=Diabetes&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all&gt;

Deviant Art, Diabetic Fingertips, Google Images, viewed 20th of August 2016, <http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/91454971/&gt;

Loli, E., 2015, Diabetic Thirst, Tictail, viewed 20th of August 2016, <http://eugenialoli.tictail.com/product/diabetic-thirst&gt;

Mokate, M., 2014, Diabetes Art Day, Diabetes Daily, viewed August 20th 2016, <https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/2014/02/diabetes-art-day-2014/&gt;

Noah Health, 2016, Diabetes Sucks, Noah Health, viewed 20th of August 2016, <http://www.noahhealth.org/five-most-common-food-myths-associated-with-diabetes/#soc&gt;

NoPricks, 2014, Campaign Image, viewed 19th of August 2016, <http://www.nopricks.com/&gt;

Osland, R. 2014, ‘Walkers at the Newcastle Walk to Cure Diabetes’, Newcastle Herald, viewed 18th of August 2016, <http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2618848/thousands-walk-newcastle-for-diabetes/&gt;

The Taable, 2016, Icecream Cones, Pinterest, viewed 18th of August 2016, <thetaable.com>

Tyler, J., 2015, Jelly Beans in a Jar, Reference, viewed 19th of August 2016, <https://www.reference.com/math/calculate-jelly-beans-jar-6fd1770243a80db&gt;