The Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) and Indie Grits Labs launched the Seen and Heard: Women and Girls in the Midlands Photovoice project in August of 2017 in collaboration with six community partners.
Through Seen and Heard, “Photovoice” methodology was used as a means of expressing the opportunities and barriers that women, girls, and gender minorities face within our communities. Diverse community members learned to use photography as a tool to share their perspectives with the community at large, leaders, and policymakers.
During this project, we had the honor of hosting:
· Over 100 pieces of photography by more than 40 community artists, ranging in age from young adolescence to adulthood, plus additional portraiture by Steffi Brink
· Exhibition art at over ten diverse public venues, including an Opening Night at Tapp’s Arts Center attended by 600 community members
· Several community conversations, including two events geared specifically toward connecting artists with elected officials
· Additional dissemination of project methodology with 250 elementary students through Club Edventure and 100 college students at Benedict College
From Images to Action
Through this process, the community artists identified the ways in which their communities could better support women, girls, and gender minorities. The most commonly discussed opportunities for growth and improvement were:
WREN will continue to work with our partners to turn these opportunities into reality for Midlands communities. We are also working to bring “Photovoice” methodology to other parts of South Carolina.