Photovoice as an Arts-Based Participatory Research Approach
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Photovoice as an Arts-Based Participatory Research Approach

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This presentation offers insight on the uses of photovoice as an arts-based research approach. ...

This presentation offers insight on the uses of photovoice as an arts-based research approach.

Nasim Haque, MD, DrPH
Director of Community Health
Follow us on twitter @wellesleyWI

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  • 1. Lillian Wright Maternal-Child Institute Faculty of Health, York University September 23, 2011 Photovoice as an Arts-Based Participatory Research Approach Nasim Haque Wellesley InstituteSeptember-27-11 |
  • 2. Learning Objectives 1. Learn what Photovoice is and how it can be used 2. Discuss the Photovoice methodology and the ethical issues inherent to the approachSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 3. Background Photovoice methodology was developed in 1992 by Caroline C. Wang and her colleagues as a means for women living in rural villages in China to communicate important health messages to policy-makers. “What experts think is important may not match what people at the grassroots think is important.” – Caroline Wang (1996)September 23,2011 |
  • 4. About St James Town Initiative SJT Initiative is a 5 yr CBPR Initiative Research Question: What implications do neighbourhoods have on the health & wellbeing of immigrants? Results: Inform policy & support social change at neighbourhood levelSeptember 23, 2011 |
  • 5. St. James Town Population & Neighbourhood •14,666 Residents on 0.23 km2 of Land •64,636 People / km2 •(Unofficial Estimate: 25,000) •64% Immigrants •18 Aging High-Rise Buildings 5 •Over 50 languages spoken 9/2 7/2 011
  • 6. Strategies & Activities Multi-pronged Approach COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENTParticipatory skill enhancing student Work with SJT Initiative Research opportunities internships multiple Website stakeholders Community Action SJT Residents Action Group 1) Adult Photo Voice 4) Youth Photo Voice 2) Community Mapping 5) Focus groups/interviews (CAC) 3) Concept Mapping 6) Sample Survey (CIHR funded)
  • 7. What is Participatory Action Research?• Action research is “learning by doing” - a group of people identify a problem, do something to resolve it, see how successful their efforts were, and if needed, try again• Photovoice is an arts-based qualitative research technique and a good example of participatory action researchSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 8. What is Photovoice?Photovoice asks you to take photographsof things that are important to you - and to tell the story of why these things are important. The visual images & accompanying stories are the tools used to reach policy- and decision-makers. 8
  • 9. Why use Photovoice?• Powerful way to approach empowerment and advocacy• Rewards of taking photographs are immediate• Photography is fun and creative• Taking photographs can change participants’ perceptions about their social and physical environment• Basic photography is easy to learn and accessible to all• “A picture is worth a thousand words”• Images are understood regardless of language or culture• Policy makers & program planners cannot deny reality when images are staring them in the face 9
  • 10. Who should use Photovoice?A few examples:• Children and youth in difficult circumstances e.g. orphans, children forced into job market, children and youth living under the threat of violence because of war or crime• Homeless adults and families• People with disabilities or mental health issues• People with chronic diseases/medical conditions e.g. HIV, TB etc.• Members of racial, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural minorities• People who are discriminated against because of class, caste, way of life• The urban poor, whose concerns and strengths are often different from those of the larger society• Women and men, to highlight gendered social and health issues 10
  • 11. When might you use Photovoice?• When Photovoice can change people’s opinions about themselves and their environment• When a disadvantaged group’s situation or problem needs to be publicized• When change is necessary, & PV can inform policy makers• When a community assessment is needed or in progress• When you need to document the process of or gather data for an evaluation of an intervention or program• When you need to document a site, an event, or a way of life that is threatened or about to disappear 11
  • 12. How to put together a PV project? The stages of Photovoice include: 1. Conceptualizing the problem 2. Defining broader goals and objectives 3. Securing resources for the project 4. Formulating the theme/s for taking pictures 5. Identifying community partners & establishing relationship 6. Recruiting PV participants & target audience members 7. Planning the project with community – include PV participants 8. Beginning the project: Training staff and participants • Training has two components : (1) technical & (2) ethical and safe photographySeptember 23,2011 |
  • 13. contd.. Process 9. Distribution of cameras and taking pictures 10. Photovoice group meetings at regular intervals 11. Selecting photographs for discussion/storytelling 10. Documenting the stories 11. Formulation of captions by consensus 12. Data analysis to identify issues, themes, and theories 13. Dissemination: Preparing a PV exhibit 14. Encouraging Social Action and/or Policy ChangeSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 14. SHOWED: Guideline for story writing One way of exploring photographs • What do you See here? • What’s really Happening here? • How does this relate to Our lives? • Why does this problem/condition/strength exist? • How could this image Educate the community/policy makers/ etc? • What can we Do to improve the situation, or two enhance these strengths?September 23,2011 |
  • 15. Ethics of Photovoice • Ensure activities are done in a fair, respectful & ethical way • Participants must have the opportunity to consent to participate in the project, based on full and complete information about both the advantages and disadvantages of participating • Participants must be made aware of expectations of participation. They should also be informed about how they can withdraw from participation • Because Photovoice participants are co-researchers and co-creators of data, they must conduct themselves in fair, ethical and appropriate ways • Participants should be familiar with process of informed consentSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 16. Ethics of Photovoice Ask yourself before using your camera… • When is it ethical to take photos of individuals? • Should someone take pictures of other people without their knowledge? • How do you ask permission to take a photo? • Should you ask subjects to sign a release form? • Should you offer them a copy of the picture? • How do you react if the subject refuses? • How do you protect yourself in dangerous situations, where people may be engaged in illegal activity or may be aggressive?September 23,2011 |
  • 17. Training Workshop-1September 23, 2011 |
  • 18. Photo Journalist : Training Workshop-1September 23, 2011 |
  • 19. Important Stakeholders: Training Workshop-2September 23, 2011 |
  • 20. Community Forum & Expo: March 20, 2008
  • 21. Community Forum & Expo: September 18, 2010 21
  • 22. Resident Group Presenting at Counselor ’s Office © The Wellesley Institute9/27/2011 | 22
  • 23. Change & Action Audit of Bicycle Parking9/27/2011 23
  • 24. Change & Action © The Wellesley Institute9/27/2011 24 |
  • 25. A few examples of the range of information that can be collected using Photovoice techniqueSeptember-27-11 |
  • 26. SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES Safety, Crime, Drugs, FearThe picture shows a memorial of a residence of St. James Town whose life was robbed off him lastyear due to gun violence. The person who murdered “Juice” is yet to be found. It just comes toshow9/27/2011 that more security is needed in the area. A lot of undercover police are the area dressing up 26as drug dealers or buyers but they are usually easily spotted and pin pointed.
  • 27. SOCIAL ATTRIBUTESThis is related to our lives because every day we are witness to some type of harmfulcarcinogens produced by these cigarettes. Whether second hand, or first hand smoke, living inSt. James Town means a high chance of encountering cigarettes. Because of this more peopleare exposed to harmful chemicals.
  • 28. PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTESAs a child, one way I kept myself occupied with my time was through playing basketball. It not onlykept me off the streets, but also wasted the majority of my time, keeping me active. If morecommunity programs ran such activities, it would bring the community closer and keep children offthe streets away from any type of violence. These activities are strengths in our community aschildren are kept away from trouble. (Youth,SJT. 2010)
  • 29. PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES Overcrowding... In a neighbourhood such as St. JamesTown where most people live in high risebuildings and come from low incomefamilies it may not seem like the bestidea to build more buildings when wedon’t already have that much greenspace around. This issue relates to yourlives because we need more things thanbuildings around our community, such asmore parks, centres for youth butinstead we invest in building and morebuildings.(Youth,SJT. 2010) 29
  • 30. SOCIAL ATTRIBUTES “The Tsismis Tree” Tsismis is a word in Tagalog that means gossip. This tree is treasured by many immigrants because we meet here to share experiences and support each other. Common spaces are important to the wellbeing of both individuals and the community.These different flowers represent people from different places and the vase represents thiscountry. If we arrange the flowers properly, they turn into a beautiful flower arrangement. Ifpeople of different backgrounds are given equal opportunities and are accepted, everyonebenefits. 9/27/2011 30
  • 31. ECONOMIC ATTRIBUTESThis tiny tunnel connects one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Canada, St. James Town, to oneof the most affluent, Rosedale. The short journey of crossing the bridge is actually painful,arduous, and for the most part, impossible for the most, if not all, of the individuals living in SJT.Despite being highly educated, newcomers have difficulty gaining recognition, andconsequently, employment. 9/27/2011 31
  • 32. ECONOMIC ATTRIBUTES Food Quality How much can we trust our food supply? We don’t only care about the price of goods, we also pay attention to our health. We want to get good service when we go to the supermarket.9/27/2011 32
  • 33. “Anyone out there?” Our plea for help went unheeded and we wereburied in an overwhelming wave of ‘that’s not our problem’.Anyone out there? Are you listening?
  • 34. Advantages of using Photovoice Technique • Non threatening method • Usually not conceived as “research” • Engage disadvantaged population • Builds trust & empowers disadvantaged population • Transfer ownership of the project to participants • Help common voices heard by decision makers • Understand participants perspectives on health and other issues through their lensesSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 35. Limitations of using Photovoice Technique • The time commitment necessary may be daunting for participants and researchers • Participants may have difficulty in presenting complex or abstract ideas through photographs • Risk of losing or damaging cameras • Participants choose what to photograph – these choices can influence research findings • Limitations of cross sectional design and qualitative design applies to PV study designSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 36. Can I use Photovoice in MCH? MCH professionals can apply Photovoice as an innovative participatory research methodology: 1. To engage community members in needs assessment 2. Community asset mapping 3. Program planning 4. In reaching planners and policy makers to advocate for strategies promoting family, maternal, and child health as informed from a grassroots perspectiveSeptember 23,2011 |
  • 37. USEFUL REFERENCES1) Wang, C. and Y. Redwood-Jones. 2001. “Photovoice ethics: Perspectives from Flint photovoice.” Health Education and Behaviour, 28(5): 560-572.2) Wang, C. and C. Pies. 2004. “Family, Maternal, and Child Health Through Photovoice.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, 8 (2): 95-102.3) Wang, C., J. Cash and L. Powers. 2000. “Who Knows the Streets as Well as the Homeless? Promoting Personal and Community Action Through Photovoice.” Health Promotion Practice, 1(1): 81-89.4) Wang, C. 2003. “Using Photovoice as a participatory assessment and issue selection tool: A case study with the homeless in Ann Arbor.” In M. Minkler and H. Wallerstein. Eds.Community-based participatory action research for health.San Francisco:Jossey-ass.5) Community Tool Box: Haque, N., & Eng, B. Tackling inequity through a Photovoice project on the social determinants of health: translating Photovoice evidence to community action. Glob Health Promot, 18(1), 16-19.7) Haque, N., Moriarty, E., & Anderson, E. (2008). Community Voices: Tackling Inequity through a Community Based Initiative on the Social Determinants of Health. Toronto: Wellesley Institute. Haque, N., & Sun, E. (2011). Voices of Multicultural Youth: Impact of urban neighbourhood on health and wellbeing Toronto: Wellesley Institute. September 23,2011 |
  • 38. ST. JAMES TOWN INITIATIVETHANK YOUFor more info, visit or www.wellesleyinstitute.com9/27/2011 © The Wellesley Institute | 38