Socially Engaged Photography and Wellbeing: Reflections on a Case Study in the Northwest of England

Gary Bratchford, Georgia Giotaki, Liz Wewiora

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Abstract

This paper describes a 9-month project commissioned by Halton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Liverpool photography organisation, Open Eye Gallery. Socially engaged photographers worked with local residents from the Windmill Hill estate in Runcorn to describe healthy and unhealthy aspects of the area. Six women were trained to use cameras to document everyday things that mattered to them. Through focus groups they discussed what these photographs revealed about the health and ill-health of the area. The resulting exhibition, As and When, told their story. Despite being a deprived area with more than average incidence of illness, they identified many positive things that enhanced their sense of wellbeing and resilience. The benefits of the project included increased social engagement and participation, an improved sense of vitality and rejuvenation, emotional benefits, a feeling of greater political agency and increased visual literacy. This paper outlines the model of practice developed with the support of CCG and in collaboration with local stakeholders. It makes a case for the value and the ways in which clusters of general practices could develop links and work with health assets in their local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-88
JournalLondon Journal of Primary Care
Volume10
Issue number4
Early online date22 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 May 2018

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