Fotohistorias: Participatory Photography as a Methodology to Elicit the Life Experiences of Migrants
Proceedings of the 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-48), pp. 3672-3681 (2015)
10 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2014 Last revised: 3 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2014
This paper presents the rationale and deployment for a participatory photography approach to elicit the life experiences and worldviews of a community – in our case, undocumented Hispanic migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Fotohistorias participatory technique involves conducting interviews with potential participants, giving them digital cameras and asking them to take photos of their lives, followed by conversations with the participants about their photos and the experience of taking them. While offering a space for reflection, Fotohistorias explores how undocumented migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border express their identities and the reality of their everyday lives through the photos they take and the stories they tell. The project doesn’t just create an avenue for personal stories, it provides a framework for the elicitation and representation of cultural knowledge that might otherwise remain submerged in the narrative of migration from the perspective of the dominant culture.
Keywords: immigration, participatory photography, research methods, Mexico, border, qualitative research, photography
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