PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change

Thanks to crowdfunding from our supporters via Indiegogo, PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change is underway.

AUIS students starting Photovoice
Students at American University in Iraq – Sulaimani begin answering the core research questions of PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing change. Currently, 19 young Iraqi ages 18 to 33 are participating in the 9-week project. © EPIC, all rights reserved.

For the first stage of Photovoice, EPIC has partnered with the American University of Iraq: Sulaimani. Working with mentors from the university’s faculty, PHOTOVOICE IRAQ: Picturing Change will teach  young Iraqis  to use the power of photography and their own voices to raise public awareness and reach decision makers about the issues that they care most about. Find out more about our Photovoice Partners.

Photovoice combines photography with community-based, grass-roots social action and written reflections. Primarily used in community development, public health, and education, photovoice has transformed lives and empowered youth in the United States, China, Brazil, and a dozen other countries around the world. See how the Photovoice methodology impacts at-risk youth in the United States.

For 9 weeks, beginning in October 2013, a diverse group of Iraqi youth will use cameras and personal narratives to explore how Iraq has changed, and how that change is affecting their lives and future aspirations. Then, they will photograph and write about the positive change that they hope to see within their lifetimes, and how they see themselves being a part of that change.


What is the plan for PHOTOVOICE IRAQ?

We’re seeking to mentor university students and teaching them in the Photovoice technique. With the cameras we provide, the youth participants will be asked to express their point of view by taking photographs, discussing them together, and developing personal narratives to go with their photos. 

Specifically,they will use photography and written reflections to answer the following questions:

1)  How have new developments in Iraq affected your life and aspirations, or those of people you care about?

2)  What positive change do you want to see within your lifetime?

3)  How do you see yourself being a part of that positive change?

For eight weeks, the youth participants will meet weekly with their mentors to develop their body of photographic work and narratives.

We have selected the American University of Iraq: Sulaimani to begin the Iraq Photovoice program. We will choose youth participants from AUIS’s student body. As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and bridging differences, we are seeking participants who reflect Iraq’s demographics, including gender, ethnicity and religion.

We will present the youths’ findings at a public exhibition in Iraq during the AUIS Sulaimani Forum in March 2014, and will invite top policy-makers, education officials, youth organizations, and local and regional media. Online, their findings will be available around the world thanks to StoriesFrom.us, an open platform for digital storytelling developed by our friends at The The Tiziano Project. Through StoriesFrom.usyou will be able to watch short video introductions to each of the youth participants, see their photographs, and read written reflections.

We will also seek to arrange further exhibits, and write about the experience and lessons learned from our piloting of Photovoice in Iraq.

The results will be a new narrative — a story about young people and their aspirations. The results will be informative.

The results will be EPIC.


EPIC believes PHOTOVOICE is a powerful tool that will have a real impact on Iraq and the lives of young Iraqis. EPIC’s PHOTOVOICE IRAQ is ongoing, but we need your help!  We want to expand this amazing tool to several areas of Iraq to include Baghdad and Domiz. Donate to PHOTOVOICE IRAQ and become an EPIC supporter! 

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