Join the Foto Vwa Team!

Foto Vwa is in need of motivated and trustworthy volunteers to help with current and future projects.

If interested, please email

Monday, August 25, 2008

Photo Voice: Social Change Through Photography

In order to provide a little bit more background on how Foto Vwa was developed, I thought it might be appropriate to offer a link to the "Official" Photo Voice website

Created by Caroline C. Wang and Mary Ann Burris, the Photo Voice concept features a rigid methodology that forces participants to express their thoughts on various issues through the lens of their camera. The issues that participants focus on are often highly political and their reflections used to advocate for policy change. In fact, Photo Voice is oriented towards bolstering the voice of the typically voiceless in matters of public policy.

Photo Voice has three main goals:
  • to enable people to record and reflect their community's strengths and concerns;
  • to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about personal and community issues through large and small group discussions of photographs; and
  • to reach policy makers (ref.
The original Photo Voice project focused on "Women's Reproductive Health and Development" in Yunnan, China, and ran from 1992 - 1996.

As part of this project, 62 village women, representing over 50 villages, received training and participated in the Photo Voice process. In addition to the Photo Voice component, this project also featured the use of a survey questionnaire, nominal group process, and focus groups.

According to the Photo Voice website, rural women were able to use the process as a means of influencing policy on day care, girls' education, midwifery, and women's entrepreneurship in their community. They were also able to use their cameras to reflect on newly-implemented programs and policies to show what worked and what needed further revision.

Foto Vwa differs from Photo Voice in many different ways, most notably in methodology. While Photo Voice pursues a rigid methodology that often focuses participants on specific issues, Foto Vwa allows participants the freedom to photograph whatever they'd like. 

In addition, most Photo Voice projects are designed to be short-term endeavors. However, Foto Vwa projects are meant to be long-term and sustainable. They're about expression, aesthetics, and communication across borders.

I hope that this information has been helpful.

Kyle Denison Martin

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Introduction to Foto Vwa Notes

Greetings everybody!

I hope that you're having a blessed day and that all is well with you and your family. I'm excited to announce the creation of Foto Vwa [Notes], a website where Foto Vwa staff and participants can record their experiences, thoughts and concerns about the Foto Vwa process.

Foto Vwa [Notes] will allow for a deeper dissection of the methodological and philosophical components of the Foto Vwa process and facilitate improvements to future projects.

This site will also serve to provide links to photography projects similar to those operated by Foto Vwa.

I'd encourage you to check the Foto Vwa [Notes] for information about future Foto Vwa projects and how you can get involved.

Thanks and have a great day!

Kyle Denison Martin
Executive Director - Foto Vwa