The PhotoVoice Project
Having made the 8,000+ mile trek from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (formerly Burma) to Indianapolis, a group of local adolescents from Indy’s Burmese refugee community now find their way into Hank and Dolly’s Gallery at the Harrison Center as a part of the PhotoVoice Project.
The PhotoVoice Project featured this month is all about the unique voice found in photography. Each participant was given a camera to capture his or her particular vantage point on various topics such as the themes related to the well-being, relationships, and healthcare in the Burmese refugee community. They were later discussed in small groups. “A wealth of knowledge was gained by using these photos to help elicit conversation,” project coordinator Megan Song McHenry said, “and we hope this exhibit will help share this knowledge with the greater Indianapolis community.”
“The goal of our PhotoVoice Project is to give local adolescents in the Burmese refugee community a voice to discuss their community and experiences,” McHenry explained. “These adolescents are in a unique position within their communities as their ability to learn English and the customs of Western culture quickly, enables them to act as liaisons between their families and their new home in Indianapolis.”
Consisting of around 30 photographs all taken by these young people in Indy’s Burmese community, this show enables the viewer to look through the eyes of someone from a vastly different culture. These photos take the viewer on a journey through the world of the Burmese other. They challenge us to perhaps rewrite our personal definitions of “neighbor” while simultaneously offering a rich diversity to our city. Accompanying the photographs are powerful descriptions written to help the viewer understand the culture, experiences, and resilience of this unique Burmese refugee population.
As a program partnered with the Burmese American Community Institute and made possible by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the PhotoVoice Project is working to build a thriving, self-sufficient, sustainable, and integrated Burmese community in Indianapolis.
Come see the bridges being built through the photography of these young Burmese immigrants, and get to know an increasingly prominent subculture of your city.
The PhotoVoice Project hangs in Hank and Dolly’s Gallery through February 27th.