This article examines how photographic practices in collaborative research might mediate migrant voices. It looks at the case of Shutter Stories, a collaborative photography project featuring images by Indian and Korean migrants in Manila, the Philippines. Drawing on life-story interviews and participant observation data, I identify two ways that the photographic selection practices in the project mediated the migrants’ photo essays. One is how subject selection practices led the participants to use both strategic and ‘medium’ essentialism in choosing their topics. The second is how technique selection practices enabled the participants to express vernacular creativity in crafting their images. I argue that the mediation instantiated by Shutter Stories fostered the participants’ ability to use photo essays to articulate voices that simultaneously conveyed their personal stories and engaged the viewing public. However, I also identify the limits of this mediation, indicating how future projects can better enable migrant voices.
SOURCE: Cabañes, Jason.”Telling migrant stories in collaborative photography research: Photographic practices and the mediation of migrant voices.” International Journal of Cultural Studies, October 5, 2017.
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