Portraits of Change

This 4 year action-research doctoral project used participatory visual storytelling to document, share, and showcase emerging grassroots responses to climate and environmental impacts across urban communities in Bangladesh, China and Australia. These inspiring local stories often remain both marginalised in their own communities, as well as disconnected from each other. Participatory photography and video were used to harness the power of images for reflection and dialogue both within and between sites in each of these three countries, contributing to mutual learning and magnifying the impact of local project activities. In total 17 discrete participatory-action-research cycles were run, partnering with 19 local organisations to run 80 workshops, 8 exhibitions, and 3 interview events across 4 separate geographic sites. Over 700 participants attended workshops and collectively created over 500 photo-stories.

Key practice-based research contributions include the development, and critical evaluation of multi-sited photovoice, together with the methodological and analytical processes across the three research orientations of adapt, visualise and influence. The research affirms the importance of bringing global perspectives to local photovoice practices, and these learnings have the broader potential to significantly improve the effectiveness of participatory action research and environmental behaviour change programs globally.

Organisations: Monash University / ICCCAD / ZUMC / FoN

Location: Australia, Bangladesh, China