Methods: To engage non-photovoice participants, four guiding questions (LENS) were asked as they viewed the artwork. This method was designed to parallel the “SHOWED” questions used to guide the development of photovoice artwork (Wang & Burris, 1994). The four LENS questions included: (L) Look at the photo—what do you see? (E) Engage with the photographer—what do you think he or she is trying to communicate? (N) What new perspective did you gain from seeing this image through the photographer's lens? and (S) Stop and reflect—what lessons will you take from this experience? Written LENS analyses were completed by 170 viewers; 78% were white, 14% were African American. The mean age of viewers was 25 years. Thematic analysis of the photovoice artwork was conducted inductively and collaboratively. LENS data were analyzed deductively using a modified version of a sociopolitical development framework (Watts, Williams, & Jagers, 2003) to examine evidence of critical consciousness raised through the exhibit.
Results: Ninety percent of the photovoice artwork on display was selected at least once for LENS analysis. The six most popular photovoice pieces were identified by 72% of the viewers. These photos were artistically appealing with captivating visual and written messages; five of these photos included people or representations of people. The top six photovoice pieces focused on multiple strengths and concerns in the community: four focused on the lost innocence of children, four on the need for health and social service resources in the community, three on the realities of poverty, three on existing social support resources, and two on crime and safety concerns. Viewer responses to the exhibit ranged from being acritical (e.g., injustice outside of viewers' awareness; victim blaming) to demonstrating raised awareness (e.g., injustice acknowledged but immutable) or engendering individual or collective action (e.g., injustice acknowledged and mutable).
Implications: Results provide guidance for disseminating photovoice artwork in an effort to achieve the social change goals of photovoice methodology. LENS provided a structured approach for engaging non-photovoice participants; however, additional efforts are warranted to raise consciousness and mobilize action using photovoice artwork.
References: Wang, C. C., & Burris, M. A. (1994). Empowerment through photo novellas: portraits of participation. Health Education Quarterly, 21(2), 171-186. Watts, R. J., Williams, N. C., & Jagers, R. J. (2003). Sociopolitical development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31(1/2), 185-194.