Place of Publication
School of Arts and Humanities
The curated photographic exhibition is a result of a series of four workshops conducted with 38 children 8-12 years old from the St. Vincent de Paul holiday camps. The work produced is part of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant with St. Vincent de Paul Western Australia (SVDWA). SVDPWA is one of the largest providers of non-government welfare in Western Australia. The photovoice project established by Chief Investigator Panizza Allmark is to assist in empowering primary school-aged children from the families that receive support from SVDPWA. In photovoice, the cameras are given to the participants to document their own lives and their own vision.
Including children in research through a creative process such as photovoice, provides them with some control of the expression of their realities and how personal stories can be created through photography. The children were supported to revision their world through photography, and thus were enabled to ‘find their voice’ and a new way of looking at their lived experience in the world. The exhibition is an example of participatory action that is innovative in that it enables participants to identify and represent their surroundings.
The curated work exhibited in a gallery at the centre of Perth as well as screened on the adjacent Northbridge Piazza showcases the value of children’s photography and moreover, their inspiring visions of place and who they are. Unlike traditional documentary photography, photovoice provides an insider’s perspective, but it also gives agency and voice to those who are often disempowered and are more vulnerable in society. The work values the artistic efforts of the children alongside building self-esteem and purpose, key aims of the Australian Research Council project. The work was also exhibited at Edith Cowan University Gallery, Joondalup and received media coverage reaching 173,800.