CTN recently got together with the some of the participants of the Photovoice project for a reception at the San Francisco Main Library. We organized the reception to gather together the photographers of the Life Got Wider exhibit to share some of their experiences and express our appreciation for their stories.
Photovoice is an action-research methodology developed in 1992 at the University of Michigan as a way to explore the social and economic concerns of communities that may affect health and wellness. Life Got Wider was conducted by Associate Professor Lynne Andonian (pictured first on left) from the Department of Occupational Therapy at San José State University.
Participants were each given cameras and asked to capture images that expressed how their newly acquired computer skills positively affected their lives. Many seniors suffer in isolation, and the ability to use a desktop, laptop, or tablet grants them a much broader window into the world. Anna (pictured second from the left) wrote of struggling with hearing loss, leaving her unable to keep up with the world through television and radio. At 87 she was enthusiastic about how her iPad allowed her to keep in touch with family members as far away as Australia. She says, “My bicycle is my first best friend, and the computer is my second.”
Rem (pictured second from the right) shared how learning to set up his computer for video calls allowed his wife Zhenechka to reach out to family halfway around the world before she passed. “The computer is a big deal. A person can not go anywhere when they’re sick, so having a connection and communication means a lot. Thank you to everybody who did all of that!”
Printed books of their images and stories were presented to the attendees. Here’s a link to the PDF version.