Thursday, March 5, 2009

See into communities & give people a voice with Photovoice

This is what it looks like when you give people in "bad neighborhoods" a voice. The culturally rich sense of community speaks for itself. Not what most people think of when you say "Harlem."

My East Harlem

Here's another great video:
Health Food Disparities in Upper Manhattan

Here's a video by teenagers in Philadelphia, entitled "It's a Healthy Habit":

While these videos give great insight into communities, just as big of an impact can be made by having participants take still photos and write captions to explain what the picture means to them. It's a sure way for anyone - even kids! - to feel empowered and feel that they have a voice to speak out to truth. Photovoice can be a very powerful tool in terms of advocacy and showing the final product to decisionmakers. In terms of public health nutrition, the idea is for children to take pictures of a health issue (such as food) and write about what this means to them. Photovoice was developed by Dr. Caroline Wang, working with women in a remote Chinese village. For a great example of the power of photovoice, see Photovoice: A Youth Empowering Program. . Rickie Brawer and the Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance have also successfully used photovoice with adolescents. On another note, the technique has even been shown to improve dietary recall data from kids, who are more willing to cooperate when given technology such as cameras. Here are a few more articles about photovoice:
Goodhart FW, Hsu J, Baek JH, Coleman, Maresca FM, Miller MB. (2006). A view through a different lens: photovoice as a tool for student advocacy. J Am Coll Health. 55(1):53-6.
Strack RW, Magill C, McDonagh K. (2004). Engaging Youth Through Photovoice. Health Promotion Practice. 5(1):49-58.
Wang C., Yi WK, Tao ZW, Carovano K. (1998). Photovoice as a participatory health promotion strategy. Health Promotion International. 13(1):75-86.
Wang C., Burris MA. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment. Health Education & Behavior. 24(3):369-387.

The American Public Health Association is currently accepting applications for its Photo Journal Demonstration Project. Additionally, FamilyCook Productions has created a School Community Food Assessment toolkit that outlines how to use photovoice in schools to change the school food environment - it's pretty cool.


Renata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renata said...

Hi Kelly, this is some great information.

About the second video: Some colleagues and I are putting together a set of action steps for parents who want to get involved in the farm to school program. Do you know how they are involving their parents in this process?

Kelly said...

Hi Renata,
No I don't know how they involved the parents; the person I learned about the videos from suggests contacting James Subhuti directly. Good luck and let me know when you come out with the steps to get involved with farm to school - I'd love to learn about those! Thanks!