Photovoice is an art-based research methodology in which participants reveal their realities through photography. The term photovoice encapsulates the central idea of this method – giving voice to individual or collective experience through photos.
In qualitative research, it is a tool that enables and empowers its participants, as they choose what to photograph and when. It allows researchers to access the participants’ perspective on the phenomenon under study, even that of the most vulnerable groups of the population, as it is accessible to all those who are able to take a photograph, regardless of whether they can read or write (Wang & Burris, 1997).
In the ReGHID Project (Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls, in Portuguese – Fixing Gender Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls in Contexts of Prolonged Crisis in Central and South America) the methodology is applied and developed in Manaus, AM coordinated by Bruna Curcio, who organizes and develops the methodology with groups of Venezuelan migrant women.
After some meetings with preparatory activities, such as conversation circles about SSR (Sexual and Reproductive Health), dynamics to think about photography as a language/narrative and a training workshop on digital photography for compact cameras, the participants receive cameras under which they will be responsible for a pre-agreed period of time, usually between 10 and 14 days. During this period, the participants are willing to register photographs that answer the question: What do I want decision-makers in public policies to know about the SRH challenges in the lives of migrant women?
For the next meeting, the women must choose 2 photos that will be presented to the group together with an explanation of what the photo represents. The group is encouraged to debate and share personal insights and experiences. This is called the ‘Focus Group’.
The data collected in the focus group along with the photographs displayed will compose a Photobook as one of the products resulting from this methodology. This photobook is distributed to Governments, Heads of State, Universities, Humanitarian Institutions, NGOs and to those who are most interested in clarifying and proposing solutions that alleviate the wide-ranging challenges.