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Practical approaches to using participatory photography in research

Speakers: Tom Martin and Michelle Walsh
Chair: Claire Griffiths (Chester)
Respondent: Kaya Davies Hayon, Lecturer in Film & Media (Open University)

For this practical, hands-on session Michelle Walsh and Tom Martin will draw on their experience of using participatory photography and collaborative arts methods with communities as far reaching as Rwanda, Morocco and Bangladesh. Emerging from the educational theory of Paulo Freire this session will explore how participatory photography can use the dialogue around producing and sharing images to co-produce research with communities in a dynamic and creative way.  

Tom Martin
is a photographer, participatory project practitioner and academic, specialising in creating meaningful images about humanitarian issues through photography and video. Although Tom works with large organisations and donors such as UNICEF, ECHO and the WFP, Tom’s interest is primarily in the people and communities he collaborates with.
Michelle Walsh is a photographer and lecturer in the School of Film and Media at the University of Lincoln. Her work primarily explores portraiture at the intersection of neuroscience and eastern philosophy and in particular what this means for contemporary representations of the self. Transnational identity, narrative, migration and digital storytelling are other key areas of practice and research.

The focus of the Behind-the-Scenes seminar series is an exploration of the processes we engage with on the journey towards producing the published research output, covering all the stages involved in fieldwork in geographical, virtual or un-sited fields. From the aspirations and expectations that precede fieldwork, through the messy and unpredictable circumstances of conducting the research, the scope of the series is wide and includes research design; funding; logistical preparations for engaging in fieldwork, dealing with unexpected challenges; the emotional impacts of the work, the multiple rewards of fieldwork collaborations, methods for analysing, cataloguing, and storing information during fieldwork, along with information retrieval from fieldwork. And in the aftermath of fieldwork, the series covers how we engage with the tortuous process of selecting what goes into the final polished output, which invariably includes excising valuable insights accumulated during fieldwork in the process. Behind-the-Scenes is a space where we can look at all those facets of fieldwork, including those which often remain unexplored and unspoken.

Seminar Series

Wed 15 Nov 2023:
From border to border: volunteering, photo-voicing, listening, and here we go again! 
Wed 6 Dec 2023:
Anxieties and Excitements of Archival Work: Some Considerations 
Wed 31 Jan 2024:
Collaboration is a two-way road, or regarding ethnographic work with antagonistic institutions
Wed 13 Feb 2024: Postponed
Fieldwork with Indigenous Amazigh Communities
Fri 23 Feb 2024 (practical - hands on session):
Practical approaches to using participatory photography in research
Wed 13 March 2024:
Researching Undocumented Women in Transit. Challenges and Strategies of Fieldwork on the Mexican Border
Wed 24 April 2024:
The sound of amateur cinema: collections, oral history, experimentation workshops

All are welcome to attend this free seminar series. You will need to register in advance for each session to receive the online joining link. Please click on the Book Now button at the top of the page to register for the seminar taking place on Fri 23 Feb 2024.