Photovoice

Photovoice is a methodology mostly used in the field of education which combines photography with grassroots social action. Subjects are asked to represent their community or point of view by taking photographs. It is often used among marginalizes people, and is intended to give insight into how they conceptualize their circumstances. As a form of community consultation, photo voice attempts to bring the perspectives of those "who lead lives that are different from those traditionally in control of the means for imaging the world" into the policy-making process. It is also a response to issues raised over the authorship of representation of communities.

It was developed by Caroline C. Wang of the University of Michigan, and Mary Ann Burris, research associate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London. In 1992, Wang and Burris created what is now known as "Photo voice" as a way to enable rural women of Yunnan Province, China, to influence the policies and programs that affected them. It has since been used among homeless adults in Ann Arbor, Michigan and among community health workers and teachers in rural South Africa by Dr. Claudia Mitchell et al.

The concept owes a debt to the critical consciousness pedagogy of Paulo Freire, and feminist theory.

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