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Photovoice in Montreal

Photovoice is a participatory action research strategy using photography as a tool of social change. The process turns the camera lens toward the eyes and experiences of vulnerable populations and gives people the opportunity to record, reflect and critique personal and community issues in creative ways. source: http://photovoice.ca/ [1]


Family Photos:

Digital photography as Emancipatory Art Education in Montreal’s Black Community

Thesis by Rosalind Hampton

click here to download thesis [2]

This thesis documents a participatory action research project in which I collaborated with a Caribbean-Canadian family of four, to study their experiences of familial art education and photographic practice, and to generate recommendations for Emancipatory Art Education in Montreal’s Black community. Emancipatory Art Education (EAE) is an emerging approach to Black community art education that I situate among African Diaspora traditions of ‘education for liberation’ and critical multiculturalism discourses in the field of art education. Family Photos begins a long-term participatory research practice aimed at defining and developing EAE theory and practices for the community from within the community. An autoethnographic study through which I locate and situate my identities as a Black Montrealer consequently emerges as a critical component of this work.

Through studying and practicing photography as art, family members develop technical skills and inclusive understandings of art, while increasingly expressing their own individual and collective aesthetic identities. All express affirmative feelings about the project and a desire to participate in similar projects in the future, and thus conclude that family art practice can be a positive and engaging practice for other families and members in the Black community. Our results emphasize photographic practice as a site for exploring issues of identity, race and representation, and tensions between the private and the public. Recommendations are geared toward EAE and address familial and intergenerational community art education; photography, ethics and boundary control; and participatory action research in community art education.



Rue-Elles/Urban Lifest♀ries was a workshop series with the YWCA and Mapping Memories. The series was directed towards women and girls with experience living in the street who developed stories and photographs over 2 workshops of 4 days each. The first week we worked primarily with women over 30 and the second week we worked with teenagers and young women under the age of 25. The workshops were held at the YWCA and at the headquarters of LOVE (Leave Out Violence), a youth violence prevention organization. With the resulting work we created an art installation that was up for five weeks on Pierce Street at the corner of St. Catherine Street West.

Mapping Narratives has also led workshop series with the Leadership Department of the YWCA, Montreal. Group Facilitators learned how to frame story narratives, take still photographs, and record audio stories. The stories are being used as models in workshops conducted with women and girls. Look for the examples under video.



The Digital Literacy Project (DLP) is an initiative of the Atwater Library and Computer Centre [5], which encourages youth and community groups to discover new and creative ways to use digital technologies in order to discuss issues important to them, develop skills, and build community.

In 2011 DLP offered : Introduction to Photo-Voice with the Yellow Ribbon Social Club [6]

In May and June, members of the Yellow Door’s Yellow Ribbon Social Club participated in aphoto-voice workshop designed for seniors interested in learning new technologies to share stories with other generations. Over five two-hour sessions, participants learned how to develop scripts, scan and locate images, and create and edit short videos using Windows Live Movie Maker.



Visualizing the Margins: The Experiences of Queer People of Colour

Woo Jin Edward Lee , School of Social Work , McGill University, Montreal

August, 2009

c [7]lick here to download this thesis [7]

This study incorporates a critical AOP theoretical framework in order to answer the central research question which seeks to reveal the ways in which queer people of colour conceptualize their intersecting identities and resist interlocking systems of domination. Photovoice, a community-based and visual PAR methodology, enables participants to visualize their everyday realities through photography, describe their lives through these photos and individual narratives, and through critical dialogue create themes which speak to their collective experiences. Participants spoke of how historical displacement and intersecting experiences of marginalization resulted in emotional and psychological responses which complicated their relationships to mental health. Key findings reveal the complexities of integrating a historicized trans-national identity and the contemporary effects of political and structural intersectionality on the lives of queer people of colour in Canada. By collectively conceptualizing strategies of survival and resistance, this collaborative and community-building process generated new knowledge, which will serve to inform social work policies and practices.

Cette étude emploie un cadre théorique critique AOP afin de répondre à la question centrale de recherche suivante: Quelle sont les façons que les minorités sexuelles racialisées conceptualisent leurs identités intersectionnelles et comment résistent-ils aux systèmes de domination qui s’enclenchent? Photovoix est une méthode de PAR, visuelle et communautaire, qui permet aux participants de s’imaginer leurs réalités quotidiennes à travers la photographie en prenant des photos et en créant des narrations. Avec le dialogue critique, les participants ont crée des thématiques collectives. Ils ont décrit le rapport entre leur santé mentale et leur état émotionnel et psychologique résultant des effets complexes de déplacement historique et des expériences d’exclusion intersectionelles. Les résultats indiquent que les minorités sexuelles racialisées au Canada développent une identité historique et transnationale et sont enclavées par les effets politiques et structurelles de l’oppression intersectionnelle. En créant des stratégies de survivance, ce processus communautaire a produit des nouvelles connaissances qui serviront de s’informer des pratiques et des mesures politiques de travail social.