Adventures in Photography: Building Media Literacy

Youth Explore Media Literacy through Photography

Media Literacy: PhotoVoice Session 1BAYCAT has just concluded a 5-week partnership with PhotoVoice, a UK-based nonprofit that believes in the power of letting marginalized voice be heard through photography. At BAYCAT we believe every story matters. So when we heard about PhotoVoice’s vision for a world in which no one is denied the opportunity to speak out and be heard, we jumped at the opportunity to work together.

BAYCAT Academy youth took pictures off-site on their own devices, then during class analyzed the photos as a group, looking at what does each photo mean in a bigger context. This exercise helped youth deepen their media literacy through discussion of things like a photos meaning and how it was framed, building their understand how to read a photograph.

PhotoVoice volunteers, Neeti Doshi and Vivian Sun, facilitated guided conversations, combining photography with grassroots social action, asking participants to represent their community or express their point of view through photography. These photographs were brought before the group attempting to study the community, who developed a narrative for each photo in an attempt to better understand the community.

Doshi and Sun are also UCSF pediatric residents who noticed the similarity of mission when they came to BAYCAT on a class tour. The pair want to use the resulting art and discussion as a research tool to catalyze more holistic treatment of patients, and suggested the partnership.

The first week’s topic was Technology and Transportation. Of course, the BAYCAT youth really honed in on the technology part of the assignment. One photo selected for discussion compared a real book to its digital counterpart (pictured left). The student used lighting to frame what was most important, with the digital version drawing the eye, leaving the hard copy unlit and unimportant.

Take a look at our youth’s photographic journey on our Instagram.