Cameras and Participatory Photography

Cameras and Participatory Photography

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    5 Comments
    • Indranil Samanta

      May 14, 2021, 4:48 am

      it is a nice guideline for participant photography. I have a suggestion. If we provide a smartphone with a SIM taken in my name or anyone else close to me to the participant and after the project is completed if we did not return back the phone, it might be risky. If the participant uses the phone in some illegal affair, I / my intimate may become part of it, as the SIM used was registered in my name. In that case, it is preferred to provide the smartphone without SIM and by using the available wifi the participant can share the photo with the project investigator.

      • PhotoVoice Training

        May 14, 2021, 10:32 am

        Hi Indranil, we would not recommend giving phones out to participants with SIMs that are in not in their names. That would potentially put others at risk and would not be a recommended practice. The way we have done this in the past is to offer a data plan for the duration of the project and ‘pay as you go’ sims which seem to be available in most countries, of course registered to the participants names. This way they also have the option to keep the sim beyond the project if they wish to. We also have offered vouchers and data plans to participants during lockdown with their already existing plans for the duration of the project so that they can join zoom sessions etc. Interesting point though! Thanks.

        • Sian Clarke

          May 14, 2021, 11:02 am

          Hi Indranil,

          You raise an important point and something we need to think about in our project. We had thought to provide smartphones rather than cameras, as it gives us more flexibility to share photos between the participants and researcher, eg via WhatsApp or other encrypted messaging service. This provides a useful plan B and will enable the project to still proceed if pandemic conditions in a particular country change once the project has started and we cannot meet physically to exchange an SD card and print photos for discussions. Plan A would remain group meetings and discussion, as far as possible.

          It does mean that as well as the phone, we would need to buy a SIM and/or data plan so that the photo can be shared. But in some countries, it may no longer be possible to buy ‘pay as you go’ SIMs. I think this is the case in Uganda for example. So we need to work out how best to do this in each country.

          • PhotoVoice Training

            May 14, 2021, 11:18 am

            Really interesting point raised here. I was not aware that you can no longer buy pay as you go sims in Uganda. It might be a trend that will follow in other places as well, which will require a contingency plan.

            Very interesting points raised about not being able to meet even on the group to exchange SD cards during different levels of lockdowns in different countries. However, with this methodology when we use point and shoot cameras we normally try and finalise all the outputs (images and captions) during the workshop phase, as participants might struggle to find ways to send and download photos from their SD cards anyway.

    • Indranil Samanta

      May 15, 2021, 2:54 am

      Thank you all for your inputs. In India also, earlier getting SIM was an easy matter. ‘Pay as you go’ like scheme was also there. Currently, it is not that the situation. Even in prepaid SIM, proper documents (like Government ID cards) are needed. The participants should have it to get a SIM. I think we need more thinking….

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