Fotonovela as a Research Tool in Image-Based Participatory Research with Immigrant Children

Anna Kirova, Michael Emme

Abstract


In this article the authors explore the effect of word-image relationships on the collection of data and the reporting of research results for a study involving the development of a series of fotonovelas with immigrant children in an inner-city school. The central question explored in this article is Can experiences such as producing visual narratives in the form of fotonovelas stimulate multiple expressions of voice and position and bring awareness of embodied ways of communicating in a culture-rich school context? The processes involved in collaboratively developing the photographic narrative format of the fotonovela combine visual elements and structures and embodied, reflective performance together with written text. As a research method fotonovela does not merely translate verbal into visual representations but constructs a hybrid photo-image-text that opens new spaces for dialogue, resistance, and representation of a new way of knowing that changes the way of seeing and has the potential to change the author’s and the reader’s self-understanding.

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