Community-Based Photography for Social Change: Making the Ordinary Extraordinary

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Community-based photography involves community members taking photographs of their world. Traditionally, these community members have been the photographed subjects of professional photographers. Giving ordinary laypeople cameras to document their surroundings allows for typically unheard voices to emerge and can provide a more realistic view of a community’s strengths and concerns. Part of the process of community-based photography is empowering community members with the basis for taking meaningful pictures. The process also includes finding creative ways to distribute or present the images along with accompanying text or other information in various public forums. The other important part of community-based photography is critically reflecting on the social-psychological meaning behind the photographs through dialogue and discussion. Finally, community-based photography used for social change should reach policy makers and the broader public about issues of concern. This workshop will describe how to use community-based photography for social change from both a photographic and social-psychological perspective. We will address how to empower community members to take meaningful pictures, critically reflect on the meaning, and affect social change. The usage of community-based photography as a research methodology will also be discussed.


Keywords: Photography, Community-Based Photography, Social Change
Stream: Anthropology, Archaeology, Cultural Studies, Humanities
Presentation Type: Workshop Presentation in English
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Dr. Lisa Vaughn

Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Lisa M. Vaughn, Ph.D. is currently Associate Professor of Pediatrics at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the Division of General and Community Pediatrics. She is formally trained as a social psychologist and counselor with a broad base of academic teaching, research, and community work. Her primary research interests are about socio-cultural issues affecting the health and well-being of families especially for immigrant and minority populations in the U.S. Given a life-long interest in other cultures, she has worked with universities and communities all over the world including Guatemala, South Africa, Lithuania, Denmark, and the Dominican Republic. Currently Dr. Vaughn is working on research studies that examine socio-cultural considerations for the health outcomes of children, health dimensions of Latina girls, cultural adaptation of families with internationally adopted children, the development of a parental cultural health attributions scale, and health perceptions of African immigrant families in Cincinnati.

David Rosenthal

Instructor of Fine Art, Photography, College of Fine Art, University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH, USA


Britteny Howell

Data Coordinator, Education and Training, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, OH, USA

Britteny M. Howell, M.A. is currently Adjunct Professor of Anthropology Northern Kentucky University and the Data Coordinator and Analyst at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Education Research and Measurement. She is formally trained as a biological anthropologist and archaeologist who currently teaches cultural anthropology classes. Her primary research interests are in immigrant views of healthcare, socioeconomic factors of undernutrition and growth stunting, and skeletal trauma analyses. Her research interests in anthropology have taken her to work in Alaska, Scotland, Albania, and Peru. Currently she is working on research projects with Dr. Vaughn that examine the socio-cultural considerations for the health outcomes of immigrant families.

Ref: I08P0117