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Photovoice Project Samples:

 
Photovoice Path Here

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Do you want to share information about your Photovoice project?  Email Laura at llorenz@brandeis.edu or visit our Contacts page (here).

To encourage interest in adapting Photovoice to your interests and needs, we briefly describe a sampling of four projects that Laura has facilitated since 2001.

What is Photovoice? Photovoice is a participatory research and critical thinking method that allows patients and community members to share their experiences and collaborate for change. Using photographs can illuminate barriers to access, illustrate quality of care, and influence policy and resource decision making in respectful and supportive ways. It can help unite service providers and patients to address health and health care issues as a shared endeavor. It is an innovative approach of interest to community members, graduate students, policy makers, professionals, and more.


Sampling of some Photovoice projects Laura has facilitated



 

tm - lslorenz.com
Supportive Living Inc. Photovoice Project: “Talking with Pictures: Community Integration
        of Older Adults with Brain Injury" 2015

"Talking with Pictures” looked with fresh eyes at community integration of older adults with neurological conditions in Lexington, MA. Participants took photographs and wrote captions to investigate and share information on their lives, experiences, and community. The project exhibit fostered community dialog about integration of people with disabilities into community life, and informed town decision-making about sidewalk improvements. The project received a grant from the Dana Home Foundation. See a video on this project below:

 

 

Supportive Living Inc is a non-profit organization whose mission is to raise the quality of life for survivors of brain injury.
 

  Article: Photo Project gives Lexingtonians a new voice - The Lexington Minuteman Wicked Local Oct 18th 2014

With a cane in his left hand and a red digital camera in the right, Shaun Grady takes a picture of uneven cobblestone in Lexington Center. The 55-year-old Lexington resident is spending parts of his week taking photographs of "environmental barriers" for people walking around town. "That could be dangerous for anybody walking by. Someone could trip and fall and hit their head, let alone me who is more prone to falling down," he said. Grady's balance issues are the result of a brain tumor and the multiple surgeries he underwent six years ago to treat the tumor. "I had to learn how to walk again, I had to learn how to talk again," Grady said. "I’ve had cognitive problems, executive functioning problems. I have a really horrible sense of time and time passing." He is a volunteer at the SLI Brain Injury Wellness Center, which is running an eight-week community integration study for people with brain injury led by Research and Education Director Laura Lorenz and funded by the Dana Home Foundation...

Read more about this fascinating project and article from the Lexington Minuteman Wicked Local Article Oct 18th 2014 issue of the paper here.

Lexington Minuteman Wicked Local Paper - Lexington Photo Project - (PDF) 2.16 Megabytes



Shaun Grady of Lexington has vision and balance problems from a traumatic brain injury. In order to help make Lexington more accessible, taking photos of what works and what doesn't around town to help start a dialogue. He's taking a photo of one of the curb cuts along Massachusetts Avenue. Wicked Local Staff Photo/Ann Ringwood

 


Video:   Talking with Pictures  Sept 2015

 

Supportive Living Inc. Lexington, MA (2015). Talking with Pictures. Get a glimpse of just how Photovoice impacted the lives of individuals and their understanding of their community. Participants met 12 times to discuss the research topics and photos, write captions, and prepare an exhibit. This film represents what the participants wanted to reflect on, document, and share in an exhibit to create awareness in their community. View this well done video by clicking here Talking with Pictures or the image above.    Video (9:54 Min). 
 



  



tm - lslorenz.com
Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor's View  (September 2006 - 2008)


Members of a brain injury support group created an exhibit of 50 photographs and captions organized under 9 themes: The Journey, Lost Dreams, Chaos, Challenges, Strategies, My Advocacy Story, Comfort and Support, Acceptance, and Hope for the Future. Photovoice created an opportunity for participants to reflect on living with brain injury and their progress in dealing with major life change, raise awareness about brain injury, and help policymakers understand ways to support healing. The group presented their exhibit at an annual conference of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts, and led a Photovoice workshop for support group facilitators in the state. The project received funding from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission and has inspired Photovoice projects in other states.

For a scientific poster on Brain Injury X-Posed  2006  24"x36" PDF 375 Kilobytes   click here.

To see a sample exhibit poster Acceptance (1 of 9)  24"x36"  PDF 64 Kilobytes , click here.

To read peer-review papers on the project click on any of the following hyper-links (e.g Lorenz & Kolb 2009 Health Expectations 12(3) pp. 262-274 Involving the Public in Health, or Lorenz, Laura S. 2010 Discovering a new identity after brain injury, Sociology of Health and Illness, 32(6), pp 862-879, or Lorenz, Laura S. (2010, December). Visual metaphors of living with brain injury: Exploring and communicating lived experience with an invisible injury. Visual Studies, 25(3), pp 210-223

The following represent samples for three of the nine exhibit categories, developed by participants and facilitators together. Each photo shows the category & the photo title.
 
The Journey
- Maybe there will be a good view -



"It’s a muddy, rutty, hands-and-knees crawl up to the first rung of the ladder that begins to make some semblance of sense—and then you get to begin to really struggle. The climb does not and will not end. There is no final healed bone or mended tear of the skin to get over. Sometimes weekly, and sometimes daily there is a new step to attempt to get to your “new self”. You can’t even ever hope to get back to your “old self”. Oh well! Maybe there will be a good view on this journey that I hadn’t expected."
 

Challenge
- Keys in the freezer -



"My thoughts no longer correspond to action. Thus, putting things in places that have no meaning: like keys in the freezer."
 

     

Hope For The Future
- New Identity -



"New Identity. New passion of gardening. First baby step was planting in containers so as to not fall into dirt because of imbalance. My garden has progressed as my new life has. Now I not only can plant in the ground, I dig up grass and now have three perennial gardens."

 

Challenge
- Trying to run on ice -




"Imagine your automobile stuck in a snow bank. You hit the gas pedal and all the tire does is spin. Now imagine yourself trying to run on ice (without wearing a pair of skates). The faster you run, the more you get nowhere. These images parallel how each and every day of my life begins since I suffered my brain injury. I seem to spend a whole lot of time getting nothing accomplished."
 



 

Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View (PhotoVoice II)

Members of the "Amazing" Brain Injury Survivor Support Group in Framingham, Massachusetts embarked on a 2nd Photovoice Project entitled (Brain Injury X-Posed: The Survivor’s View Photovoice II). The exhibit was prepared by the participants and facilitators over eight-weeks and took place from September through December 2009. The exhibit contains 48 photographs and narratives.

Want to do your own Photovoice project?

- Here is a copy of the Photovoice Facilitator's Guide developed by Laura S. Lorenz and Barbara Webster to help get you started.
 






 

tm - lslorenz.com
Photovoice in Mdantsane Township, South Africa: “Pictures that Speak: Involving Youth in Community Health” (2001)

Working with a youth-led organization in Mdantsane Township, Laura trained four youth members aged 16 to 32 to be co-leaders with her on a Photovoice project funded by the South African Department of Health Department of Health and the Equity Project of U.S.A.I.D. Each leader worked with a team of peers to take photographs of community resources and problems from their point of view, choose some for exhibit, write captions, and prepare an exhibit of 50+ photos and captions organized under 6 themes: Health and Welfare, Education and Training, Community Vision, Economic Opportunity, Security, and Township Life. Exhibits at public libraries, the local hospital, and the regional capital captured policymaker attention and helped the young people to feel heard.

“These pictures are proof of our membership in our communities,” said Khanyiso Sangotsha, one of the Youth Academy leaders who participated in the project. “By looking at them you can see clearly today that Mdantsane needs change.”

The following are sample photos and captions for two of the six exhibit categories, which were developed by participants and facilitators together.
 

Township Life – Ubomi Belokishi



"This is a bad situation. The streets are always muddy even on sunny days. There are insects which bring illness to people. Cars cannot enter in this community. These roads need renovation. If the municipality would contribute gravel, the community would fill in the holes themselves."  –Luyazola

 

Township Life – Ubomi Belokishi



"This young man has a sister, his own blood, who has tested positive for HIV. He decided not to eat the food she cooked, not even to use the spoon or the coffee mug she used, because he thought he could be infected with AIDS. We need to inform people about the normal life they can live with an HIV positive person."  –Nokwanda

     

Township Life – Ubomi Belokishi



"This is good looking art on the wall near a taxi route. If you are passing by you stop and look because it’s beautiful. As youth of Mdantsane we are showing people that we have talents. Art like this can attract tourists to come here to Mdantsane. It is good to know that we have people who care about our culture and our community."  –Nomahlubi  

 

Health and Welfare -- Ezempilo neze Ntlalontle



"This picture is a good thing because it is good to have fresh vegetables. These people are unemployed and are growing their own food because there are no jobs. It is good to plant vegetables for eating and selling."  –Celine

 






 

tm - lslorenz.com Photovoice with Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell: 
A Community Activism Project.  (2001)

This project was an after-school activity offered through Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell. Using disposable cameras, Girls Inc. members aged 11 to 16 photographed local resources and needs from their perspectives and held an exhibit at City Hall. The Mayor saw the exhibit and spoke with a participant about her photo showing the long-standing problem of a cracked dance floor at the high school. The Mayor brought the City Counselors to see the dance floor photo and caption, and they approved funding to repair it. Photovoice has been widely used by Girls Inc. affiliates throughout the U.S. and Canada using a facilitator’s guide based on this first project and funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation

The pilot project won a national Girls Inc Program Award in 2001, and in 2002 Girls Inc of Greater Lowell applied for and won a Strengthening Families Program grant, funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to develop a Photovoice curriculum guide. The Photovoice: Girls Vision, Girls Voices curriculum is now a national Girls Inc program, and Girls Inc affiliates throughout the US and Canada carry out numerous Photovoice projects each year. Girls Inc of Greater Lowell continues to lead photovoice projects and share the methodology with other Lowell youth through outreach programs at local middle schools.

“I took photos of my family, my friends, my community, and many other problems and resources,” said Jennifer Sanchez, a Photovoice participant and Girls Inc member for six years. “For example, I took a picture of bagged trash. This is a resource—everyone should bag their trash instead of polluting the environment. Taking pictures for Photovoice, I found that there was a lack of caring in my community and lots of pollution. I found that taking pictures and showing them to our community could really make a difference.”

The following are sample photos and captions from the exhibit.




"This is one of the many cracks in our dance floor at the high school. Cracks like this are unsafe and can cause major injuries. Our dance teacher has made numerous complaints to the school about this problem. I hope that including this photo will get the floor fixed and that my dance teacher does not get in trouble, because this was my idea." –Kerry, age 17, Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell, 2001

 




"My family is everything to me. This is a picture of my aunt and my baby sister. My aunt is very special to me because she is very cool and teaches me things about life. She is a role model and she is like another mother. I love my Mom just the same, they are both very cool. My baby is very special to me because she is premature and she is so precious. When I look at her I see myself as being a role mode. She makes me smile when I’m down."—Jessica, age 14, Girls Incorporated of Greater Lowell, 2001

     



"This is a picture of a fire truck. It’s one of our resources. Fire fighters save lives. If fires just kept going and no one did anything about them, then they would kill a lot of people. People depend on fire fighters." –Gina, age 13, Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, 2002

 


"This is a picture of a broken bubbler at my school. They would always try to have people come in and try to fix our bubblers, but they never came. This is one of about 6 bubblers in my schoond the bad thing is that 2 more of them are also broken. So we can almost never use the bubblers unless we travel all the way across the school." –Yaileen, age 11, Girls Inc. of Greater Lowell, 2002



Laura developed a series of symbols and descriptions to illustrate the Photovoice process and steps, which she calls “A Photovoice Path.” The path helps with planning. It provides a useful tool for participants to understand the Photovoice activities and track their progress. A visual depiction of the steps of Photovoice, from learning to be a a visual researcher to reaching target audiences.

View a Downloadable PDF of Photovoice Path - here.   (PDF) 121 Kilobytes  


 

What We Will Do! Download PDF - (Click Here)  449-Kilobytes
A brief description of the steps of Photovoice as depicted in 'A Photovoice Path'. shown above.

 




Have Questions

For questions regarding Photovoice Projects, Training, or Consulting please contact Dr Laura Lorenz
 at llorenz@brandeis.edu or visit our Contacts page (here).

 

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