volume iii: photovoz

in partnership with healthi kids

two hands hold a copy of a small booklet with photographs inside
a hand holds a small photograph of an art mural depicting a child sitting under a tree with a book

originally developed to aid in public health research, “photovoice” is a research method that enables participants “to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about personal and community issues through group discussions of photographs” (wang 1999).  participatory photography is an important intervention for sharing the power of representation. in photovoice, a group of participants is given cameras and a set of prompts in order to visually capture elements of their social and physical environment.

an image of several people gathered around a blue bench with only legs and feet visible

this photovoice project began in 2019 as a collaboration between an anthropologist and a community organization interested in supporting resident-led play initiatives in rochester, new york. a dozen residents across three rochester neighborhoods (el camino, beechwood, and swan/changing of the scenes) participated in the study by using kodak printomatic cameras to visually capture elements of their surroundings in response to the following prompts: 

what would you want to show others about your neighborhood?
what would you want to show others about your work in the neighborhood?
what would you want to show others about your healthi kids play spaces?

this work provides a glimpse into how participants claim space for community in order to activate a sense of place and cultivate a commitment to playful lives.

you can see the residents’ photos at rochester’s central library through september 30, 2022!

a close-up of two arms and hands hanging a framed photograph on a wall in an exhibit

this project has been supported by the greater rochester health foundation, the provost’s office and the humanities center at the university of rochester, the institute for citizens & scholars (formerly the woodrow wilson foundation), and the wenner-gren foundation

a line drawing of an instant camera with vines and a flower growing out of it
illustration by miguel a. cardona