Gender and Social Action in a Mexican Province: A Photovoice Project with Activist Women

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Francisco Antar MARTINEZ GUZMAN, University of Colima, Mexico
In this paper we present a research project aiming to explore activist women participation in social and political action in the Mexican province of Colima. This province is characterized by a recent and significant increase in violence against women including a high rate in feminicides. In this context, the research project seeks to explore the ways in which women, as a particular vulnerable group, engage in community development and social transformation processes. The photovoice methodology is used as a participatory action-research technique that elicits participants’ expression of experiences, perspectives and knowledge through photographic production. This methodological approximation allows to explore social factors relevant to women’s experience in activism, accounting for fields or areas in which this participation is developed, political strategies, social capital, cultural and institutional obstacles and the role played by gender in the configuration of particular forms of engagement in social action. Moreover, this methodological device also allows to approach these relations from the situated perspective of the participants’ lived experiences, acknowledging embodied subjectivities as a fundamental condition to understand social and political engagement. Analysis of the relation between gender and social action is undertaken from a feminist theoretical perspective, seeking to understand gender-based power relations shaping the problem. A particular contribution of the project is the discussion about the potentiality of photovoice as a participatory research instrument consistent with with feminist theories and epistemologies.