This autumn, Blue Water Baltimore’s Outreach & Education Coordinator, Michel Anderson, facilitated a series of three workshops in Baltimore City’s Oliver neighborhood entitled Photovoice: Oliver. The project was generously funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust and the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation as part of our Deep Blue program. Photovoice is an internationally utilized, grassroots research method that enables a community to identify, represent, and enhance their surroundings through an artistic process. It uses the immediacy of photography and storytelling to furnish evidence and promote an effective, participatory means of sharing expertise to influence public policy. In Oliver, each of the six participants (in the above photo, from the left: Pam Moore, Celena Owens, Michel Anderson, Yvonne Hardy-Phillips, Ava Halls, A‘shonte Jones, and Earl Johnson) set out to explore their neighborhood with cameras in hand and two questions in mind: What do I love about my neighborhood? . . . and what do I want to change? The workshop series culminated in a photography exhibit in one of the model houses in the neighborhood. Below is a sample of some of their work. The full show included 22 photographs with revealing and inspiring artist-authored descriptions of their work. Over the next following weeks we will feature each artists’ work along with their descriptions in a series of blog posts.
My favorite part of the Photovoice workshop was bonding with my neighbors and getting to see everyone’s different creative styles.
— Pam Moore
Photovoice was an awesome project that enabled me to see my community from a more interesting perspective than I had prior to participating. It forced me to get out and into other parts of my community; instead of zipping through in my car. It allowed me to really “feel” my community and it was a great feeling! Additionally, I got to experience my community through the eyes of the other participants, and that taught me how to look even deeper into my experiences, in general.
— Celena Owens
I truly enjoyed participating in the Photovoice workshop, it allowed me research,capture and showcase via photography, parts of my community that’s in dire need of revitalization. I had a voice through Photovoice!!!
— Ava Halls