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Photovoice is a thorough documentation of real life situation through picturing with the purpose of seeking recognition. It is a form of evidence of disparities in life, where formal and informal institutions use pictures depicting inequities such as wealth vs. poverty, state of the art vs. old, and vulnerability to infection vs. health. These pictures help create awareness in order to seek redress of disparity situation and create room for unification. This form of merger of situations is central in communication through pictures. It is the process that creates awareness about the reality.
The emphasis of this mode of communication is on showing the contrast between a healthy environment vs. an unhealthy one. For example, the viewer of the picture can see an emaciated person seated next to an empty bowl or a broken dish, while another picture, which contradicts this notion, depicts a couple holding each others' hands cutting through a decorated cake. This situation depicts disparity related to resource allocation in that it is much more expensive to decorate a cake than mend the broken plate. It is also a form of communication with a viewer as one cannot avoid sympathizing with a situation of an emaciated person, whose vulnerability to health hazards like malnutrition is high. Therefore, this depicts poor health.
This implies a real dialogue due to the impression that the photo might create. This prompts the observer to take some action to initiate change. Contradicting sentiments bring about sense of reality to what is happening in the world in terms of resources are allocated. Consequently, this is a form of minimizing disparities in terms of health and environmental concerns. This kind of looking at the picture is essential to policy makers because it inflicts initiation of change. Moreover, it is helpful for community leaders in that it emphasizes lack of appropriate effort to equalize resource allocation.
The form of inequity depicted in this situation is poverty vs. wealth, where the poor cannot afford to buy meals and, therefore, became emaciated, whereas those with efficient resources have a chance to add value to what they consume. It also shows segregation in terms of health, which is based on institutional and symbolic dimensions of oppression so that vulnerability to infection is a health hazard symbolizing pain.
Another situation, in which Photovoice can be perceived as an automated form of communication is the picture of a rugged terrain with pools of stagnant water and bear footed childen running on an old rundown outdoor basketball court. Moreover, the picture shows that children running with bear chests, while the ground is covered with litter scattered all over. This picture is a contrasting image depicting art gymnasium, which has several training equipment with feeding facilities. The trainers seem masculine and strong because of the exercise. Even the heaviest loads are erected above the surface of the ground with their efforts.
These are daily life experiences that depict social inequity, which the society witnesses every day. Observation of this inequality provides an insight into forms of injustices that some people experience due to lack of resources. The pictures reveal that it is not inability of people that causes the discrepancy, but some additional factor, which when put in place, might alleviate the difficulty of the situation. Bear chests and feet depict lack of attire for play, while the rugged terrain shows lack of maintenance. Moreover, it might show the inadequacy of funds to maintain infrastructure. On the other hand, a state of the art gymnasium shows that it is possible to invest in leisure, where people with sufficient resources enjoy benefits and get the pleasure by attending the facility. Moreover, feeding facilities are contributors to good health, while contrasting litter is a contributor to poor health.
The usefulness of observing such contrast is that it provokes deliberate corrective measures since it shows how different lifestyles correlate. This is also essential for policy makers because it allows for proper management of accessible resources. Generally, it makes the whole community sympathetic because it becomes an awakening alarm that proves that everyone has a right to attend recreational facilities in a healthy society.
These forms of discrepancies are termed social injustices because they put human beings into certain categories and structures that increase the gap between generations. This is based on the fact that the most vulnerable people are due for extinction, while generations of wealthy flourish. Merging of these situations is the communicative essence of Photovoice. Moreover, it shows the truth behind all forms of social inequality, which are either acquired or ascribed. The acquired status may include educational proficiency, which is a contributing factor to this discrepancy, while gender and race are ascribed forms of inequality, which cannot change with time. This implies that it is the obligation of responsible agencies to minimize disparity caused by ascribed characteristics. Here, education is thhe factor essential for decreasing inequality among people.
Education is extremely important in the process of decreasing inequality due to the fact that highly educated people in the society are more responsive to correctional measures. Moreover, activity is profound amongst the elite, who translate the steps learned in class into real life situations to create a better environment. For instance, eating habits among the educated include well balanced diets, sufficient rest, and regular access to recreational facilities. Conversely, uneducated people have different views with little knowledge about the matters affecting their lives. These individuals are vulnerable to infections since they lack knowledge about causative agents. They also lack knowledge about efficient correctional measures, which implies that they are subjected to a threat of any tragedy, even if it is preventable. Moreover, uneducated people are more likely to influenced by discriminative ideas related to ethnicity and racial discrepancies. They hold on to what is perceived to be true even if it is against the real situation. For them life is a form of illusion.
General characteristics that the uneducated people have define different dimensions of oppression, which spans from interdependent to institutional. Oppression is institutional because support of information systems of education can help improve the situation. This implies that the society suffers because it confuses truth with reality. This has a correction measure, which is also institutional in that change of all institutions that make up the society can change the situation. One of such correctional measures for instance is provision of education. On the other hand, interdependent dimension is depicted through discrepancy in ascribed characteristics, for instance, race. This requires collaboration of relevant parties to combat this form of inequity.
Conclusively, the Photovoice culminates into increasing of awareness of a viewer, where it engages both artistic work and dialogue to bring the real life situation into the picture. In addition, it is a first step towards creation of institutions necessary to change the situation and decrease the gap of inequality. This is because it shows possibility how exactly it is possible to cope with this disparity. Without this awakening, the vulnerability of poor people would increase to the point that might endanger their life. Conclusively, the essence of Photovoice is a voice itself, where one picture provokes sympathy to the other picture, while change is the margin that exists between the two.
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