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Photovoice: Our Community, Our Vision, Our Voices

Community Folk Art Center exhibition of works by women living in Trinidad

Feb 12, 2013 — Article by: Judy Holmes

Men and Women at Work image of a dump in Trinidad

"Men and Women at Work" by Venicia, Beetham Gardens, Trinidad. Venicia took this photo in the dump that lies next to her community where residents search for salvageable materials

The Community Folk Art Center, 805 E. Genesee St., presents "Photovoice: Our Community, Our Vision, Our Voices," an exhibition of the work of women living in impoverished areas of Trinidad. The exhibition is the result of more than seven months of small-group workshops conducted in Trinidad by Kishi Animashaun Ducre, assistant professor of African American Studies in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences.

The exhibit runs through March 17. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

The women who participated in the workshops learned to use images to explore issues of envrionmental racism and social injustice. Their images conceptualize their environment, how their degraded environments impact their quality of life, and the strategies they employ to avoid unhealthy or unsafe environments. The project was funded by a 2011 Fulbright Teaching and Research Fellowship awarded to Ducre, who worked with the Institute for Gender and Development at the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies to bring the project to fruition

"Self Sufficient" by Natasha Andrews, Mon Repos, Trinidad. Andrews captured a crude, but efficient attempt by her neighbors to protect their homes from landslides

"Self Sufficient" by Natasha Andrews, Mon Repos, Trinidad. Andrews captured a crude, but efficient attempt by her neighbors to protect their homes from landslides

Ducre conducted a similar project with women living in Syracuse's Southside neighborhood several years ago. Methodologies used with both groups included community mapping and photovoice.

Community mapping is a process through which people create a visual image of their environment, highlightiing assests and deficiencies. Photovoice uses images taken by people with little money, power, or status to enhance community needs assessment, empower participants, and inform policy makers.

The Community Folk Art Center is a program of the Department of African American Studies Department in The College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University and is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Contact Information

Judy Holmes
315-443-8085
jlholmes@syr.edu