Extending the ethnographic toolbox: photovoice and everyday experiences of marginalised groups

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This paper explores how photovoice can be used to understand the everyday life experiences of marginalised groups. We ask what kind of knowledge photovoice elicits and how this contributes to other ethnographic methods to enhance our understanding of subjective experiences. Based on two photovoice projects in Ghana/Burkina Faso and Thailand we show that participants generate aesthetic accounts of their everyday life that are both poetic and emotional. Drawing on feminist approaches to agency, we argue that the aesthetic construction of photos and stories permits us a different insight into how participants reflect on their conditions, perceive power dynamics within social structures and, in doing so construct (political) messages. Without overlooking the oppressive structures that they navigate, their accounts highlight their constrained agency and contrast victimising accounts. As such, we extend the use of photovoice beyond a tool for empowerment to reflect on its contributions as a visual method to methodological and theoretical debates around everyday, emotional experiences and how these, as argued within feminist geography, are constituted on different scales.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGender, Place and Culture
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • emotions, ethnography, everyday experiences, feminist geography, Photovoice, visual methods

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