Alegria for a Future Life - Photointerviews with the Women of Huizachera, Mexico

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Heidi DUMREICHER, OIKODROM - The Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability, Austria
Bettina KOLB, Department of Sociology - University of Vienna, Austria
The paper presents photos and narratives illustrating future life by women of the initiative "Women of Huizachera", (Community Salto, Province Jalisco), supported by IMDEC Guadalajara (Instituto Mexicano para el Desarrollo Comunitario). This CSO supports women in developing their own „Jardin de la Esperanza comunitario“, a cooperative garden for alternative agriculture. They acquired a "terrain" where they will build ecotechnologies and plan for a future school of Huizachera.

Based on a qualitative photo interview approach, we created future scenarios. Photo interviews generate photos and narrations about the present and future. They proved to be an empirical basis for an active future concept, where participants unfold a trail toward a full good life, thereby realizing their potential. Whereas many studies are problem-oriented, photo interviews encourage a forward-looking approach and open spaces of possibilities.

The interviews show that the women see themselves not as victims, but as empowered actors. They have a high awareness of existing problems, including ecological, gender and societal issues. We identified a cultural and philosophical realm of a fulfilling life. Future is seen in a highly complex way; it includes material elements, like specific vegetables, up to broader concepts of social change and happiness.

This paper is a result of the EU-funded nopoor project, an innovative research effort consisting of over 100 topics in 21 countries. The goal of nopoor is research for change, based on the identification of forces that perpetuate poverty, taking into consideration the varying dynamics existing in each country, The research is ground-breaking in its intent to produce tangible outcomes, such as policy recommendations and capacity-building for poverty alleviation. The presentation will include visual material to present the many aspects of future visions.