Using photography to Hear the Voices of Mothers Raising Children in St. Croix County…
Photovoice places cameras in the hands of local residents so they can record images of their daily life experiences. This process empowers community members, often of vulnerable populations, and allows them to become engaged in finding solutions that enhance community living.
Photovoice can help us understand the “story” behind the statistics. Learn more about Photovoice.
Mothers from three focus areas were included in this local study: (1) Mothers of Hispanic ethnicity who do not speak English; (2) Mothers concerned about maternal and child health issues; (3) Mothers concerned about healthy eating and active living for their children. Participants were invited to share their perceptions of community strengths (assets), needs and personal reflections and parenting strategies in relation to their respective topic in hopes of bringing about real change to improve their lives.
Photovoice not only enabled these mothers to convey their cares and concerns, it also promoted dialogue about existing community strengths and needs, fostered awareness of existing resources, and engaged public health professionals, community partners, and policy makers in discussion through a visual display of the photos and findings.
Research findings will be used for targeting existing community resources and programs to more meaningfully serve the needs of families in St. Croix County.
More than 100 photos were on display at the Phipps Center for the Arts (Hudson) January 9 through February 15, 2009, including an Opening Night gallery reception.
The exhibit has begun to generate the discussions it was intended for and has been described as “engaging,” “eye-opening,” “surprising” and a “remarkable undertaking.”
As a means to increase community awareness for this project, the exhibit continues to canvass St. Croix County by visiting local libraries, art galleries, government buildings, churches, town halls, community centers, schools, hospitals, and community development organizations. The exhibit also provides an opportunity to link people who face marginalization with people who have decision-making power.