Project Photo/Public Pedagogy

My goal for my project is grounded around ideas about placemaking. I am interested in using photography and other art mediums to co-construct knowledge and create alternate representations of minoritized communities through their eyes. The ‘written word’ used in academia in inaccessible to everyone especially the people who are used as ‘subjects’ in scholarly research. Photography and art is an accessible way to communicate. My hope is to create an art project that is co-constructed with people in minoritized communities, possibly including students too, since they are usually left out decision making processes. An example of a project I have been thinking about is giving participants or colleagues, disposable cameras so they can take pictures of what ‘place’ means to them. As well as the possibility of creating a mural with people living in gentrified neighborhoods. The premise of both ideas is to highlight ways marginalized communities can create a photo or mural project to combat injustices. These projects promote democratic participation as well as a form of resistance against the rhetoric that they are just bystanders during the process of gentrification for instance. I hope to learn more about critical media literacy and public pedagogy to help me create a mural project or memory project using photo collages. I am also considering a website to showcase the project/s. My overall goal is to utilize. I believe images can represent how we read and record our worlds, and highlight surface knowledge that may be overlooked or not understood by outsiders.

6 thoughts on “Project Photo/Public Pedagogy”

    Here are a few things that came up to me as I was reading your post:
    1. Articles about Participatory Action Research can be useful at ‘theorizing’ democractic decision-making with students and community members. I’m down to chat with you and/or send you articles. Just lmk if you’re interested.
    2. You already know me, I lovessss murals. Once the mural is ready to be made, can I join and watch?
    3. Funding… oh lord, funding. I’ll be forwarding calls for funding as I come across them.
    4. Since you’re looking at place-based vivencias, I’d recommend ‘scholarship’ on feminist geography (I can send you some articles) and decolonial feminist analysis (see Lorena Cabnal’s work on cuerpo-tierra-territorio).

    Your project sounds dope!

  2. This is awesome, Christopher. Lots of examples of folks within CUNY who’ve done this type of work (see this project, for instance — as well as this one). We also hope to bring Ryan Seslow to visit class later in the semester who can talk to you about both public art making and murals. I’m sure you’ve discussed PAR and photography within Urban Ed. I think you should identify some practical questions you might answer this semester — what medium, what resources do you need, what community are you working with what technology do you need to develop comfort with — and get as much of the imagining and planning done as you can now so that your independent study is about doing the thing.

    Excited to see this develop!

    1. Appreciate the feedback, Luke! I will look fir examples within CUNY and in my program. I’m taking a class with Gene Fellner on Arts-Based Research and continuing to flush out my project by talking with Wendy Luttrell. I will be thinking about the questions you provided as well, thanks.

  3. This is super cool & really invites participants to use their creativity! I like also how this sidesteps a lot of the specific verbal burdens of testimonials and collecting oral histories (something I respect but has its own challenges). Someone in my chronic illness support group is working on a sort of allied project, but rather than being around space/place it’s around lost and unaccounted for objects related to disability (especially those that may appear unremarkable for able-bodied people). I am thrilled at this project & like Joanna will keep an eye out on funding calls!!

  4. Though I am not knowledgeable about the mural culture, I do like murals. The artistic power they can express is amazing. I believe your project will attract many people to get involved, and imagine how magnificent it will be when a gallery of photos expressing their voice challenging the gentrification. A thought I have is that the communication and collaboration among the participants will also be a valuable part of this project, and probably you can take some splendid pictures of your participants throughout the project and include those pics as part of the digital gallery. It’s exciting to see how your project develops!

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