Refugees say it with photos
A group of 17 Bishop Viard College students from refugee backgrounds have partnered with Victoria University students on a project showcasing their dreams and identities.
The ‘‘ Our Dreams, Goals, Identities’’ photovoice project was a partnership between students from Colombian and Burmese refugee backgrounds and postgraduate students in human geography and development studies at the university.
It was presented to family and friends on June 20.
Colombian refugee and year 12 student Danilo Rodriguez Royes used his dream of being a photographer to take part in the project. His picture was of his brothers.
‘‘My family are most important in my life and I love them,’’ he said.
He came to New Zealand a year ago with his brothers and father.
Burmese refugee and year 12 student John Hlawn Ching took a photo of the school for his part in the project. He said he took it because of all the school had done for him.
He dreams of being an international football player and said the school supported him in that.
‘‘Education [is] important and not many people [in Burma] have the opportunity to study.
‘‘The school has helped us through a lot,’’ he said.
Through the project, the students were involved in weekly research activities. They learnt about photography, analysed their images, wrote captions and produced a powerpoint presentation.
Viard head of learning and international support Lois Burns said it was the first year the school had been involved in anything like the project.
‘‘It has been wonderful for the students to share some of their hopes and dreams,’’ she said.
Photovoice is a process that promotes research justice and social change by encouraging people to voice their experiences visually.